How to control your Windows PC with an Apple Watch

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When you’re giving a presentation on a PC from PowerPoint or another application and would like to control it remotely, a dedicated remote control always works best. If you don’t have a dedicated remote control but you have an Apple Watch, you can remotely control your presentation from your wrist with help from a third-party app called Mobile Mouse. Once you install the $1.99 app on your watch and on your PC, you can control the presentation with just a tap here and there. You can also remotely control the playback of any media program and open an application on your PC.

With Mobile Mouse, you can use an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Android device to control a Windows PC or Mac. The app offers more features and options if you run it from an iOS or Android device than from an Apple Watch, but for this tutorial, I thought it would be interesting and convenient to cover the process with the watch, as it’s likely always on your wrist—at least during the day. And to control a presentation, the Apple Watch version is all you need.

How to install and use the Apple Watch version of the Mobile Mouse app

First, install the Mobile Mouse application on the computer you wish to control by browsing to the Mobile Mouse website, clicking the Download button, and then choosing the Download button for Windows. Running the downloaded setup file installs Mobile Mouse, as well as Bonjour Print Services if you plan to print from the computer.

Next, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap the Search icon. Search for mobile mouse remote. Select the app from the search results and tap the $1.99 button to purchase and install it. By going through the App Store on your Apple Watch, the app is automatically installed on both your phone and your watch.

Launch the Mobile Mouse app on your Windows PC. Double-click its icon in the System Tray. At the Server Settings window, click through each of the tabs to check the settings—you can leave virtually all of the default settings alone. In the Server tab, you may want to assign a password to the remote connection if you’re concerned about security. When finished, click Done (Figure A).

Figure A

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To quickly test the connection, open the Mobile Mouse app on your iPhone. Move your finger around the screen in the app and make sure the mouse cursor moves accordingly on your computer screen. At your PC, open the presentation that you want to control. Let’s use PowerPoint for this example. Put your presentation into slide show mode by clicking the Slide Show icon in the lower right toolbar of PowerPoint.

Open Mobile Mouse on your Apple Watch. Make sure you see the name of your computer at the top of the screen. Then tap the entry for Presentation. At the remote control screen, tap the button with the right double arrows to move to the next slide. Keep tapping that button to move to each slide. Tap the button with the left double arrows to move back to the previous slide (Figure B). Continue until you’ve completed your presentation.

Figure B

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Beyond controlling a presentation, you can use the Apple Watch version of Mobile Mouse to control media playback. To see which media players are supported by default, open Mobile Mouse from the System Tray and click the button for Program Setup. The app lists such programs as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Spotify, and VLC media player (Figure C). You can manually add another player to the list by clicking the button to Add Media Program and selecting the EXE file of the program you wish to add.

Figure C

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On your computer, open the media player of your choice, such as iTunes. Start the song or other audio you wish to hear. At the main screen on the Mobile Mouse app on your watch, tap the entry for Media. The next screen in Mobile Mouse will display the song or audio you started on your PC. You can now control the playback from your watch by pausing, resuming, skipping to the next track, going back to the previous track, and adjusting the volume (Figure D).

Figure D

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You can use Mobile Mouse to open and switch among different applications on your computer. At the main screen for the app on your watch, tap the entry for App Switcher. At the next screen, tap the name of the app you want to open (Figure E). You can continue to open other apps remotely just by tapping on them from the Mobile Mouse app switcher.

Figure E

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