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I'm aware that there are some screen sharing apps like TeamViewer and Zoho Assist. However, what I'm looking for is a way to fully control/interact with the iPhone remotely as if I'm there physically, not simply screen sharing, and without using the Contunuity/Switch Control/Facetime/Handoff/iCloud method.

Ideally this remote access/control should include being able to make/receive phone calls and SMS as well as interacting with apps. E.g. if the phone was ringing, I'd be able to take the call remotely.

Some benefits

This can be useful as some apps simply don't work when connecting from abroad. In other situations I needed to test how long a website on a mobile took to load up abroad in places where there are no VPNs readily/freely available.

Similar but not exactly

Perhaps something similar to this but for iOS and allowing to make and receive phone calls and sms remotely (Teamviewer Remote Control did not work on iOS — only screensharing) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWAbI9ryhH8

I'm guessing it should be possible completely via software and shouldn't need something physical like this setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej0B1dSnqOg&t=166s

Context

In the era of remote working, it helps to have access to your mobile phone (make receive sms and calls and access apps) in one country when you're in another country without the roaming charges. There are also other use cases when you're in the same country as well as the benefit of remote support incl. remote control.

Third-party solution using the native/built-in setup

Is there a third-party solution or workaround to using iCloud/Facetime/Handoff/Continuity/Switch Control ...if it's possible with these native options, then shouldn't it be possible with a third-party solution?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209456 https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205644

Edit

Although a pure software solution is preferred, please feel free to suggest hardware or software solutions.

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  • Apple doesn't offer this capability natively, nor does it allow third-party apps to take over an iOS device remotely. There are no work-arounds. You can use apple.com/feedback to suggest that Apple should allow it. It certainly would be useful for many things. I would guess that they feel it's too much of a security risk. Aug 5, 2021 at 20:26
  • Something like the reverse of this youtube.com/watch?v=N68kqv_H_dw should be possible though right? If a pure software approach is not possible, perhaps there could be a workaround via the Assistive Touch accessory remotely connected? E.g. could there be something like this youtube.com/watch?v=9KYKWm7kXSE except that they are connected remotely e.g. via network -> internet/vpn -> network -> wifi/bluetooth/USB to iPhone? Aug 6, 2021 at 10:08
  • No, it's not possible. It says "install the remote mouse server on your computer" - you can't do the reverse, because unlike Mac, Apple does not allow third-party apps to control the "mouse" of a non-jailbroken iOS device, and control other apps. You asked for an answer "completely via software and shouldn't need something physical". If you've changed your question, then yes, it is technically possible, by building some sort of hardware contraption, such as a bluetooth mouse that can be controlled remotely via the network, external microphones and speakers to enable you to take calls, etc. Aug 7, 2021 at 16:17

1 Answer 1

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No, what you describe is simply not possible to do as a third-party solution in a non-jailbreak context. Apps installed from the App Store, or via other means, are run in a sandbox. They have no way of controlling the iPhone as a whole.

The only something like this is possible is by starting with a jailbroken phone, which basically comes with whole other can of worms.

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  • Thank you @jksoegaard for your answer. I've seen references to VNCs for jailbroken iOS such as Veency but it seems this is a dated and incomplete solution (apple.stackexchange.com/questions/367279/…). Do you have any workable solutions for jailbroken route? Has this been properly discussed on another forum? Aug 6, 2021 at 7:37
  • I don't think is the suitable place for solutions for jailbroken devices.
    – jksoegaard
    Aug 6, 2021 at 8:01
  • Can you advise where is a suitable place for the jailbroken route? Also what about connecting the iPhone to a trackpad and screen similar to this setup (which might be more hardware related but I'm sure there is software involved here)? youtube.com/watch?v=9KYKWm7kXSE Aug 6, 2021 at 9:49
  • Apparently this hardware bluetooth accessory has made it possible without jailbreak on iOS 13Beta customgadz.com and here youtube.com/watch?v=6LWW0oy-1Hs Aug 6, 2021 at 11:09
  • Yes, it’s easy with external hardware - but you specifically asked for a solution that was software-based and not hardware-based.
    – jksoegaard
    Aug 6, 2021 at 17:03

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