With the advent of smartphones and then tablets, it is not only Star Trek engineers that get to have cool gadgets to help them with their technical tasks. Mobile tools for technicians are improving in leaps and bounds and there are now many to choose from which do just about everything you can imagine.
Being able to remote access a desktop from your mobile device is a very handy thing indeed and fortunately there are several apps available which allow just that. For example there is the mobile version of TeamViewer. There are several implementations of VNC and RDP and some, such as Jump Desktop that do both!
Connecting securely to your servers is something you will have to do plenty of and ConnectBot is a handy app for ssh’ing, Server Auditor is another similar app. If your mobile device doesn’t have a physical keyboard you may also want to install the Hackers Keyboard which provides easy access to all those tricky characters that only techs ever use.
Being able to login to servers and desktops and routers all from your mobile device is great but can you remember all those passwords? I think probably not! So another essential app is a password manager such as the great KeePass which is cross-platform so you can even use the same encrypted password file across multiple systems.
Being on call is no fun but getting an SMS alert in the middle of the night when a critical system is down is just one of those things you have to accept, however what good is it if you’re sleeping and don’t hear the little ‘new message’ beep? This is where Klaxon comes in – it can filter your incoming messages and detect the important ones and then it will make sure you actually wake up!
Network testing tools are also typical in every technicians toolbox and for that you can use apps such as Wifi Analyzer, Fing which does ping, trace, port scanning and more, Ping & DNS which does what it sounds like, and there are plenty of others to suit your specific requirements.
DriveDroid is a clever little app which allows you to actually boot PC’s or servers from an image which is on your phone, basically turns your mobile device into a boot-up drive for other computers.
Moving files around is a common issue, clients often need to send you logs or other files and you may also need to send them files or send them to yourself from the road or office or wherever and Dropbox provides a convenient way to handle this task.
Being an IT technician often involves driving to client locations or datacenters in strange parts of the country and so you of course need to be able to find them – Waze comes to the rescue with it’s GPS navigation app which shows you the way.
Which are your favorite mobile apps for techs?