One of the great joys of blogging happens when developers give you an early peek at products under development. Steven Sande and I were lucky enough to join Avatron's beta test for their upcoming Air Login app.
Like its competition, you install a server app on your home system. This app runs in the background, letting you connect remotely to home. Basically, you install the Air Connect software on your computer, the Air Login on your iPad or iPhone, and then connect from your iOS device back home.
The service is account-based. You establish your credentials with Avatron using Air Connect, and then add systems to your account to tie them together.
Once installed, I had no problem calling back home to my Mac. Air Login easily handled my rather extensive dual-monitor install. Built-in help introduced the features of the onscreen toolbar. Some of these features are just outstanding.
Take the Exposé-style app view for example. It allows you to switch from app-to-app, previewing the activity in each of the open windows. Here, you can see that I'm running Mail, Xcode, Colloquy, Safari and so forth.
Air Login also provides a custom menu bar outside the networked screen, letting you access features of the active program, no matter what you're looking at on the screen itself. So if you scroll to your other screen to view a window, the menu bar is still exactly right where you need it.
The builds Steve and I tested were, of course, early beta. We ran (not unexpectedly) into a fair number of bugs -- the kind you see well before a product launches. Even in this rough state, Air Login impressed.
Pricing and availability dates have yet to be finalized. Feel free to drop Avatron a note if you're available to test on Win 8 at email@example.com.
The thoughtfulness of the features, the care in the design and the overall understanding of how people want and need to do work convince me that this is a product worth watching out for. It's on its way and it's going to kick ass.
Preview video follows: