The smartphones of today are capable of doing so much that you don’t even need your computer for many tasks such as checking your emails, searching and browsing different websites, tending to your social networking needs, and sharing photos and videos with your loved ones. Smartphones have enabled us to perform all of these function and a lot more on the go, without having to sit in front of a computer. However, there are still tasks that require you to use a computer, such as giving presentations, playing several high-quality video games, watching movies on large screens, working on graphic and video editing, and heavy document and spreadsheet editing etc. While technology of today still has yet to put everything from a PC into a smartphone in its true form yet, what it has made possible is controlling the computer with a smartphone during many of these tasks. DroidPad is one such application that allows you to use your Android device phone as a mouse as well as a game controller for your computer. It provides you with multiple modes for using as a mouse, and eight different gamepad layouts. Moreover, a slideshow menu lets you have complete control over your presentations without having to present them using your laptop.
First of all, you will need to download the desktop client as well as the Android app to enable pairing between both devices. Once downloaded and installed, just run the app on both devices and allow them to connect. The desktop client has a pretty simple interface and provides you with a list of devices available for connection. Make sure that the Android device and PC are both connected to the same network, or the phone is connected to the PC via a USB cable. In both cases, the desktop client will automatically detect the phone when you run the app. Select it from the list and click Start to connect to the device.
The Adjust menu allows you to reorder and tweak axes for controlling the mouse and joystick. The Reorder Axes dialog box lets you configure the axes and buttons, while the Tweak Axes window lets you tinker with settings for the tilt sensor, rotation sensor and on-screen slider sensitivity.
The interface of the Android app is divided into 3 sections: Joystick, Mouse and Slideshow. Each section provides a different functionality to the user. Under the Joystick tab, there are eight joystick layouts available, each one listed with its description. They are different from each other in terms of the number of buttons and sliders available for use. For instance, the Joystick Layout 8 consists of eight buttons and five sliders.
The Mouse section offers 3 different modes for controlling the mouse cursor on your computer. You can control the mouse by tilting the device in different directions, using an on-screen track pad, or pointing the phone at the screen.
In order to connect your phone with the computer, select any mode from Joystick or Mouse section and wait for the device to appear in the desktop client. When visible, double click it to make the connection. The connection will be confirmed through a ‘Connected to PC’ notification in the lower-left section of the Android app.
Unlike the Joystick and Mouse sections, the Slideshow section only contains one mode – Slideshow Presenter. It provides you with all the necessary buttons required to control a presentation. You can navigate to the next or previous slide, start or stop the slideshow, jump directly to the Beginning or End of the slideshow, and make the background black or white.
The Settings menu lets you enter a custom device name, reverse the X and Y axes, change screen brightness and layout settings, and specify the port number and update interval for the connection.
DroidPad’s Windows app works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, while the Android app requires Android 2.1 Eclair or higher.