Author Topic: Apple to Apple remote control  (Read 323 times)

Apple to Apple remote control
« on: July 14, 2020, 08:40:01 pm »
I’ve recently swapped to a new MacBook Air and I am thinking of giving the older one to my mother who is in Northern Ireland. She uses an iPad which is now getting on a bit, so she has an Apple user account already. I am unlikely to go to NI anytime soon as both my parents are particularly vulnerable to COVID and I am concerned that I could take it to them from this here London.

I’ll set it up for her as a new installation here (I set up her Apple account so know the password, same for her Gmail). I can get my dad to send me the wifi router details so hopefully I can manually add a network, the idea being that she can just open the lid on arrival and start.

I vaguely know that I could set up the older Mac to enable remote access from this one. But will that give me what I need, which is LogMeIn style remote control? If not, what do I need? I no longer have LogMeIn as has become too expensive.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 08:58:27 pm »
In theory you can just use remote desktop, but in practice the second Mac will be behind a NAT, so unless you're über-clever and can say stuff like just open a port and ssh the backend server with your hashes, daddy-o, you're better off with an out-of-the-box solution. I've used Teamviewer before, which has a free option, but Chrome Remote Desktop seems to fit the bill (and it's an add-on for the Chrome browser). I'm looking for similar so I can take over my parent's Windows laptop the next time my father breaks it (probably about a week after I fix it, given that he will download anything and will click OK to every request; for reasons odd, if some Indian-sounding bloke phones randomly phones him, he'll follow those instructions to the letter, if I do so, I have no hope that he'll do a single thing that I tell him).
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2020, 09:04:21 pm »
I'm looking for similar so I can take over my parent's Windows laptop the next time my father breaks it (probably about a week after I fix it, given that he will download anything and will click OK to every request; for reasons odd, if some Indian-sounding bloke phones randomly phones him, he'll follow those instructions to the letter, if I do so, I have no hope that he'll do a single thing that I tell him).

Standard parental behaviour.  The best approach is to swap family tech-support duties with an Indian-sounding bloke.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2020, 09:33:53 pm »
I'm looking for similar so I can take over my parent's Windows laptop the next time my father breaks it (probably about a week after I fix it, given that he will download anything and will click OK to every request; for reasons odd, if some Indian-sounding bloke phones randomly phones him, he'll follow those instructions to the letter, if I do so, I have no hope that he'll do a single thing that I tell him).

Standard parental behaviour.  The best approach is to swap family tech-support duties with an Indian-sounding bloke.

I'm tempted to do the Indian accent, but I'm sure where modern sensibilities stand on that.

I remember Marcus Brigstocke used to do a skit, where he started off with the usual accents, Georgie and the like, and everyone laughed, but then as everyone laughed away, he segued to West Indian. If you've never heard a giggling liberal middle-class audience from Blackheath do an emergency humour stop before floudering around in the resulting moral quagmire. It was hilarious. Probably banned these days, people might get mad on Twitter.
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Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 09:40:06 pm »
There's a built-in Screen Sharing app which you can use with an Apple ID (iCloud account) to get past NAT barriers. Lots of info here:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh11848/mac

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2020, 08:34:47 am »
I use teamviewer for supporting Mum in USA. Though mac specific solutions are not an option as she uses Win.

I don't like being beholden to the goodwill of a private business to keep the free model open, but haven't found an alternative that doesn't require her to twiddle stuff for each connection.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2020, 09:19:51 am »
There's a built-in Screen Sharing app which you can use with an Apple ID (iCloud account) to get past NAT barriers. Lots of info here:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh11848/mac

I sort of assumed there'd be an Apple ID based option (there is for everything else now), but I confess I can't find details (definitely worth exploring, I use screen sharing for my headless Mac Mini (which is local) and it works a treat, but I know traditionally VNC via a NAT is a PITA).
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Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2020, 09:55:53 am »
Thanks all. Is it the case that to use Mac screen sharing, my mother would need to be a user (or guest user) of my machine or on my network?

Either way it looks as if the person at the other end needs to do things.

I have an advantage here as i can test stuff with both computers here before sending one off to my mum.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2020, 09:56:23 am »
You use Messages

Have a Messages chat with the person whose computer you wish to control.
Right click on their name at the top of the chat (it says To: name)

Click "Ask to Share Screen"

They get a beep and a request they have to agree to. Once they do, you can see their screen. You can also control it, but I can't remember if they have to approve that too - it must be easy because I regularly sort Mum's computering out this way. You get sound too, which can be confusing if you are on the phone to them at the same time.

(Note: Mum isn't on Catalina and I am - there may be a security thing, but Ican't see anything in System Preferences)
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ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2020, 10:05:03 am »
Ha. I never knew that, but yes, there's a little icon next to the name of Mac users in Messages and it does just that (yes they get a request to share and a second one to take control).
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Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 10:22:06 am »
Well that looks promising. So essentially I don’t need to do anything at all to prepare my mum’s machine, in terms of Sharing in system prefs or anything like that? 

Shall test in due course.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2020, 10:29:38 am »
Test it, there are a couple of settings in preferences (either screen sharing or remote management) that control these features – but I figure in the Mac-verse these are simply configured for you if you accept the request.
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Apple to Apple remote control
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2020, 10:32:26 am »
I'm pretty sure I didn't have to do anything with Mum's machine, but I have been doing this for some years now and may not remember!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.