There are tons of apps on the Android Market that allow you to control your computer’s mouse pointer from your Android device over WiFi. But this is the first time we’ve come across one that doesn’t use a virtual touch pad to do so. Mr. Mouse for Android is a free tool that, in addition to the providing you with the conventional touch pad interface, allows you to move your computer’s mouse pointer by tilting or waving your device from side to side. The app employs your device’s camera to detect its motion. The camera detects changes in the image, transmits said changes over a common WiFi network to a server application installed on your computer, which in turn causes the mouse pointer to move accordingly. The app is still in beta as of this writing and doesn’t seem to support a lot of devices. Also, the aforementioned Camera Mouse feature requires quite a bit of processing power, so you might experience considerable lag (between the motion of your device and the response of your computer’s mouse pointer) on most if not all devices.
You don’t have to do much to set the app up for your computer. Simply install the server application (link provided at the end) and run it. The mobile app automatically detects all computers on the network running the server application and displays their IP addresses within Menu > Settings > Wifi. Select an IP address to connect to the corresponding computer. Alternatively, if your computer is the only one on the network running the server application, simply hit Menu and tap Quick Connect to connect to it instantly.
Once connected, select Menu > Start Beta to switch to motion-tracking and Menu > Stop Beta to switch back to the touch pad. The buttons at the bottom of the screen simulate left-click, right-click and the mouse-wheel.
Our HTC Desire, Desire Z and HD2 (running Android) were detected as incompatible with the application. Thankfully, we were able to run it on our Samsung Galaxy S. Even with the Galaxy S running the app’s Camera Mouse feature, the mouse pointer seemed to be struggling to keep up with the movements of the device. The touch pad feature, on the other hand, proved to be extremely responsive.
So while we had quite a bit of fun waving the phone around and watching the mouse pointer move accordingly on the computer’s screen, we didn’t really find the app’s motion-tracking capability to be all that practical. Still, it’s a concept that deserves appreciation and until the final build of the app hits the Market, let’s hold off on judging the implementation.
You can download the app for free from the Android Market via the provided link or QR code.
Download Server Application (Rapidshare link)