Splashtop 2 launches for Android smartphones, brings Windows 8 gestures along

Remote desktop software maker Splashtop Inc on Tuesday announced it has made Splashtop 2 universal on the Android platform, supporting both tablets and smartphones, and offering special optimization for devices built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon systems-on-a-chip.

Splashtop 2 has been available for iPad since last June, and for Android tablets since mid-August, and the product marked a generational shift in Splashtop's business model. The original version of Splashtop was a for-pay application that let users connect to their desktop PC through their iOS or Android device as long as they were on the same local Wi-Fi network.

Now, Splashtop 2 and local network remote desktop functionality are both free. The big difference is that the company now offers a subscription tier that lets users connect to their desktop PC over 3G or 4G wireless connectivity or through firewalls.

In the six months since it debuted the subscription tier, Splashtop Inc. has picked up 2 million subscribers out of its approximately 10 million users.

"It's like GoToMyPC on Steroids," Splashtop CEO Mark Lee told BetaNews. "And the highlight of our Snapdragon optimization is in its use of resources. Our non-optimized version of the app uses up to 70 percent of the CPU, but when it's fully optimized, it drops to around ten percent. That means that people will have a much better user experience, and their device will have more power to run other apps, and the battery life extends significantly."

Like the original version of Splashtop that debuted in beta last June, Splashtop 2 features full support for Windows 8 gestures, so users can now remotely connect their Android smartphone to their Windows 8 machine and have full control over all of its touch interface.

Lee seemed optimistic when we asked him how he felt about users accessing Windows 8 from smartphones. "Now that a new range of Windows apps are touch friendly, it promises an overall experience in Splashtop that's better."

Even though the original version of Splashtop came to the Windows Store two months before Windows 8 launched, Splashtop 2 has not yet been released for the new OS.

Lee told us that it's coming soon for both Windows 8 and Mac, anticipating its arrival in as few as two weeks. So if you've got an Android tablet or smartphone and a Windows 8 machine at home, you can download it in Google Play today.

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