TiPb AT WORK: Jaadu VNC vs Mocha VNC

[This is a TiPb AT WORK App vs. App Review! Last week, it was the To Do/Task App Showdown, with Things squeaking out the victory. But which blog commenter won a copy of the winning To Do/Task App? Alex! Congratulations!

This week, the TiPb iPhone Forums voted on their favorite Remote Desktop/VNC Apps, we took the top two, and now they're going head-to-head. But wait -- there's more! One of the forum voters has already won a copy of the winning App... Congrats avt! Want another chance to win? COMMENT BELOW! and make sure you leave a valid email address in the comment form -- it won't be made public, but it will be used to contact you if you win! Check out the full contest details, then grab your iPhone and get ready to get things done -- the TiPb AT WORK Remote Desktop/VNC Showdown is on!]

Like Brian, I use my iPhone for just about everything. So wouldn't it be nice to use your iPhone to access your computer(s) when you are not at your desk? At work (no pun intended) I rotate with team members to "take" call, meaning, if something needs resolved on a weekend or evening, it is up to me to fix it. My work does not currently supply a broadband card, so it is up to my own devices to have Internet access wherever I go to remote into my PC. The VNC applications Jaadu and Mocha allow me to do just that! For those of you that don't know what VNC is, it allows you to remotely control another computer. Now, this ability is available on your iPhone (side rant, why doesn't Apple give us this ability as part of our MobileMe subscriptions? Ah, I digress...)

I can now leave my laptop behind and just use my iPhone to connect to my work laptop at home or my iMac desktop and save the day! Let's take a look at these two VNC apps!

First Impressions

Jaadu VNC: Sells in the App Store for $24.99. Though this may seem steep, it offers ease of use its rivals do not match (more on this later). This application is very professional looking. The mixture of black and blue as well as animations while loading really give a good aura of slickness to the user, I was impressed. 

Mocha VNC: Sells in the App Store for $5.99. A little rougher around the edges that Jaadu, it still gets the job done. The lower barrier to entry might be more palatable for some not looking for a "regular" connection to their desktop. But who does it better? Let's read on to find out!

Setup

Jaadu VNC: There is some configuration needed with Jaadu, but it is detailed and well worth the trouble. After installing the iPhone App, you need to install a free client on the Mac/PC. The Mac client is actually made by Jaadu, but for the PC they recommend using Tight VNC on your PC to get you started. After following the simple instructions I was up and going using Jaadu in about 5 minutes.

The setup screen contains the typical information such as Name, IP Address, Password, etc. The advanced button offers additional choices such as color depth (Hundreds-Millions or the server can decide for you based on your connection). If you are battery conscience, then you can even turn off "fast refresh" to save battery power. Honestly, I would never turn this off as it impacts the redraw of the screen...

Mocha VNC: Mocha VNC is a straight forward setup. You have to setup a VNC server on your own, but afterwords, setting up the connection on your iPhone is a piece of cake. Mocha allows you 20 different connections (wow, that is a lot) and similar configuration options to Jaadu. It does not have as many configuration options as Jaadu, but it covers the basics to connect. Setup is fast and seamless.

Keep in mind though, you will need to install a VNC server in order to use Mocha VNC. You can read more about this here
 

Use

Jaadu VNC: Once connected, Jaadu really is easy to use. There is a keyboard for you to enter information into your computer. You can use this for typing a URL into the address bar, sending an email, or whatever fits your needs! 

The cursor movement is nice to. You have an option for "momentum" which provides a "floaty" mouse feel. You can double click by tapping the screen twice and right-click by taping once with two fingers. You can also use multi-touch by pinching the screen to zoom all the way out, or zoom in to a useful level of detail. All of this is done very smoothly and accurately. 

If you swap often between portrait and landscape, you are in luck! Jaadu recognizes when you have rotated your device and orientates the screen to match, However, if this function does not appeal to you, there is an option to disable as needed. You also have your standard additional keys like FN, CTRL, etc.

It is important to note that you need to run the Jaadu application to access your Mac. On Windows you need to install a VNC server as well as the Jaadu app (with Back to My Mac, the Mac already has a server running, thus no need to install additional software beyond the Jaadu client).

   

Mocha VNC: Mocha behaves very similarly to Jaadu, but offers alternative input methods. For example, you have a series of icons located across the bottom of the screen. You have your typical options, etc, but what is different here is that instead of using two fingers and tapping on the screen for a right-click, you tap an icon. Once tapped, that icon turns green (the icon is of a mouse...) indicating that the next time you tap the screen, it will display the shortcut menu. 

One advantage that Mocha has over Jaadu is the extensive alternative keys. Mocha gives you full and easy access to all of the "F" keys as well as the FN CTRL, etc. keys. I prefer this input method (for the function keys) over Jaadu's.

   

Additional Information (Tech Babble)

These apps work on the premise of you knowing the IP address of the computer you are connecting to or if you are connecting to the computer on the same LAN. This is where there is a distinct difference between the applications. Jaadu offers you an application that will handle this for you. Mocha does not.

Conclusion

And the Winner is...

Jaadu!

The added ability of remoting in when you don't have a static IP really makes all the difference in the world with VNC. The added "slickness" of the app also goes a long way. If you are using VNC on the same network, either will do. However, if you need to access your computer on the same network, Mocha will work just fine.

Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Static IP configuration
  • Ideal tool to access your Mac/PC on-the-go

Cons:

  •  Difficult if not impossible to configure behind your corporate firewall

Jaadu Final Score:

 TiPB Rating

Mocha Final Score:

TiPB Rating  

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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Reader comments

TiPb AT WORK: Jaadu VNC vs Mocha VNC

30 Comments

I have been using both these apps as well as WinAdmin which works with RDP for remote Windows. I agree that Jaadu is the better of the two you reviewed and I think it is worth the price if you need remote desktop for everyday use.
I have no idea what you are talking about when you say you needed to install a client on the Mac? There is no client needed for Leopard or Tiger. I am controlling scads of Macs with Jaadu and installed NOTHING on the Macs. You only need to instal a VNC client for Windows (or use WinAdmin instead using RDP). Jaadu recommends TightVNC which works fine.

Stephen:
You are correct. You do not need to install the Jaadu client on the Mac if you are on the LAN. However, if you want to access your Mac while not on your LAN, the Jaadu client is required. Unless, you are using some other dynamic/static IP tool. Again, this is for a "home" scenario and if you connect via VPN, etc, your milage will differ. For example, the VNC ports are blocked at my place of employment and I have no way to access available ports.

I guess the point is, Jaadu is the better client. On its own you could argue that Jaadu is worth 24.99. You could also argue that it isn't worth 3-4 times more than Mocha. Mocha is the better value, Jaadu is the better product.
Also, you dont "need" to install Jaadu's client on the Mac. It works fine with other VNC servers, or even Apple's built in VNC support (I don't recommend Apples. It is a memory hog). My understanding is that Jaadu's server works better with Bonjour, allowing the client to find it without knowing the address.

Mocha is a delight to use. Much better than the PalmVNC I was frustrated with on the old Treo! Didn't try Jaadu, mostly due to the price (although, I believe it was on sale for 7.99 at one point). But then, Mocha does the trick, so why bother. I use it with UltraVNC on all my clients' servers.

I have used both Mocha and Jaadu (picked Jaadu up on a $5 sale, so the price point was moot), and have completely disregarded Mocha.
Jaadu can be used in "screen off" mode to completely replace a trackpad. In screen off mode, the real-time response is very smooth and can be used to control a computer from across a room.
Jaadu also allows you to scroll up and down with a double-finger drag, something I haven't seen on Mocha.
In addition, Jaadu supports a click-and-drag with a "tap tap drag" motion, while on Mocha you have to press a button to change the mode first, then remember to change back when you're done.
I'd also like to point out that the Jaadu client doesn't need to be installed at all. It just transmits the name of the computer to the iPhone, which is completely unnecessary, because you can type in a computer name or an IP address on your own. (I honestly didn't know about the Jaadu client software until I read this article.)
One last thing: sometimes it can be hard to control where the actual point of clicking is on Mocha--when I have to move a window, for example, I can try and try to catch the menu bar, but the selection will often be just a little off, so I miss and actually drag something I didn't intend to grab. The Jaadu interface displays a real cursor that you move around the screen, so you can be sure that when you tap (or taptapdrag), you're actually hitting what it's pointing at.
I'm completely sold on Jaadu, if you couldn't tell.

Looks awesome. Since I can use these programs to get to Windows, I just may freak my brother out one day while I'm at work and be the ghost in his machine :)

Having a static IP or not has really nothing to do with this. You can easily get a no-ip.com domain to redirect to your current IP address from home and just connect via that.
I have JaaduVNC and I have used it on my Mac, Vista, and XP machines. Never touched the Jaadu app which uses UPNP to open ports to my router (which I disabled). If you know what you are doing there's no need to use a dumb Jaadu client whether you are using a Mac or PC.
Having read this article, I would have never purchased Jaadu and Mocha instead.

One last thing: sometimes it can be hard to control where the actual point of clicking >is on Mocha–when I have to move a window, for example, I can try and try to catch >the menu bar, but the selection will often be just a little off, so I miss and actually >drag something I didn’t intend to grab. The Jaadu interface displays a real cursor that >you move around the screen, so you can be sure that when you tap (or taptapdrag), >you’re actually hitting what it’s pointing at.

I totally agree with Maso and love using Jaadu for this reason

I've used both. Started with Mocha then tried Jaadu. For me, Jaadu wins hands down due to it's ease of use. Right click is way easier, and moving the mouse around is so much smoother. Moving to different sections of the screen/zooming is easy. It's a seemless transition.

I use jaadu everyday and it is a life saver! I have tried mocha and it is awful compared to jaadu in my opinion. If you will be using a VNC almost everyday, splurge and get jaadu!

Does Jaadu work with iTouch?
I have read that there are REAL security concerns with VNC.
Otherwise, I would love to control iTunes from my sofa.
Thank You,
Paul

paul- first of its "ipod touch" not "itouch"
and second, if you only want to control your itunes for music and video playback there is a free app that does it better, ps. its FREE
-cadenlaguna

I used mocha and its not really mac like touch and feel. Even the position issues makes it hard to like it. I would like to use jaadu but the price :(

I'm using jaadu (sweet app) and connect to my mac using the client (btw one reason for using the client program is to have access to media keys, play stop etc) but I can't get it to work with my pc using jaadu client and tightVNC. I have my netgear router configured just the way they recommend, but the client prog never confirms an outbound connection. Jaadu website is no help with this. Suggestions? I'm using zone alarm but it didn't work with so firewall either

Thank you for a great blog, now i'm going to get Jaadu!!! I've been searching for weeks and wasn't sure of how this Jaadu works.
Here we go... AppStore!!!
^_^

I think the article fails to account for the user. If you are a hardcore tech in an IT department or something, Jaadu is great, if you are a home user, like me, the free Mocha client wins hands down...free for just about everything a home user needs, with no client on the Mac required (I used DynDNS - for lots of things, not just VNC, and the built in Apple VNC support.)

Jaadu vnc can also control another itouch or iphone from anywhere. by simply getting veency (jailbroken) on the ipod you want to control and then getting jaadu vnc on the other ipod. then go onto jaadu and put the IP Adress of the veency ipod in to jaddu.
Jaadu i didn't test this on any other vnc apps

You should also give Remote Jr a look-over (remotejr.com). It's a whole lot cheaper than Jaadu, but has a great feature set, including the remote desktop view and some more unique features (Spotlight being one of them). My favorite app in this category :)

Exactly the same as the Good Humor truck that served my suburban NY neighborhood back in the day. The same guy had the route forever. It must have been possible to make a decent living doing this back then. Now ? Doubtful.