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There are about nine thousand apps that will allow me to use my iPhone to control my Mac over wifi.

I just moved, and I don't have an internet connection in the new place yet. Additionally, I can't tether with my iPhone's connection (thanks to my carrier's rules).

Can I turn my iPhone into a Bluetooth trackpad somehow? This would need to be a standalone solution on my phone, since for obvious reasons I can't download client software onto the Mac.

  • If you have a mobile data connection on your iPhone you can use that to make a mobile hotspot – Alexander Jul 20 '14 at 4:03
  • @XAleXOwnZX, I don't have hot spot capabilities with my carrier, unfortunately. – hairboat Jul 20 '14 at 4:11
  • Ad-hoc network? – samthebrand Aug 19 '14 at 21:00
  • @Sam Wi-Fi apps still require software to be installed on the Mac in question – grg Aug 19 '14 at 22:50
  • I've added three apps, one which uses HotSpot and might scratch other's itches. Abby - the two bottom remotes are GOLD standard apps IMO. You can create a network on your Mac and then use them over that WiFi until your real WiFi arrives (or you borrow a cheap wireless router to connect things in the new place) – bmike Aug 19 '14 at 23:20
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+100

I don't know of a general purpose Bluetooth only control that exists on the App store (but that store is really hard to search these days for a needle in the haystack of apps), but one of the more common remote control software packages does say it will work without WiFi on the Mac.

Once you've installed the free Mac software and tested that you are OK tethering the Mac to the phone (which can use prodigious amounts of cellular data) you can download the free and ad supported iOS app.

There is IAP to remove the ads if you really like it over time. I prefer to use the computer's create network and tether over USB if needed for control in situations where I don't have a pre-existing WiFi network. The apps I prefer for that are:

Touchpad is truly standalone, just turn on screen sharing on your Mac and run the app. Rowmote Pro is more integrated with various apps such as spottily, hulu, etc... Both function fabulously as a keyboard and mouse/trackpad for OS X from iOS and I find I use both for different tasks at different times.

  • This is a good solution going forward, now that I can plan ahead by keeping Air Keyboard installed on my machines. Wouldn't have helped in that "oh, crud" moment when I walked into the new place and realized I had no way of controlling my mac, though ;) – hairboat Aug 22 '14 at 1:00
  • Oh, and it only works on phones with tethering enabled - which my carrier doesn't allow. Still, even with these restrictions it looks like the best option. – hairboat Aug 22 '14 at 1:01
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If your iOS device is jailbroken, you can install WeBe++.

This app can be used in Bluetooth HID mode which means that no software is required on the Mac to 'receive' the mouse input. This is what requires the jailbreak and why apps that do this in this way won't be found on the App Store. WeBe++ uses BTstack, a separate Bluetooth stack that gives more possibilities to tweak developers—BTstack will temporarily disable Apple's Bluetooth to override it into HID allowing representation of mice/keyboards, meaning no software is required on the Mac. WeBe++ supports clicking as well as scrolling, but no multi-touch gestures.

The Wi-Fi apps that are available require software to be installed on the Mac regardless of whether Wi-Fi is present or an Ad-Hoc network is created. If you can manage to get software installed on the Mac to connect to Wi-Fi mice apps, then you can create an Ad-Hoc network to connect your iOS device to. Go to the AirPort menu bar item and create a network. Apps that work over Wi-Fi will work over an Ad-Hoc network, so this may be something you could set up for future necessity.

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