I've been playing around with Windows 8 (for all it's faults, it kinda looks cool). I have access to a few Windows Server 2012 machines, and I'd like to be able to VNC/RDP into them from my iPad.


  • Support touch, of course.
  • Be relatively fast to use
  • Work with computers running Server 2012

Nice to have:

  • Support multi-finger gestures
  • Free is always nice

The question asks for VNC client, but for connecting to Windows Server, an RDP client might be more appropriate. Your requirements:

  • Support touch, of course. Yes.
  • Be relatively fast to use Yes.
  • Work with computers running Server 2012 Yes.
  • Support multi-finger gestures Yes.
  • Free is always nice Yes.

Microsoft actually has their own RDP client for iOS, which is also free. I tested this briefly, seemed to work fine. In addition to remote desktop connections, it also supports remote resources. Feature list from iTunes:

  • Access to remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway
  • Rich multi-touch experience with remote desktop protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX supporting Windows gestures
  • Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
  • Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center
  • High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage
  • Easy connection to external monitors or projectors for presentations
  • I've used the ms rdp ios client and like it a lot – user23 Feb 7 '14 at 1:53

I have used RealVNC viewer. It's free and they are updating it relatively often - not that I have encountered too many bugs with it. In case of some connection hickups, it'll mess up the the graphics for some time, but any activity - moving window, for example - fixes that, so it's only a very minor annoyance. Your requirements:

  • Support touch, of course. Yes.
  • Be relatively fast to use Yes. This is obviously a bit ambiguous. Using remote GUI over a very slow connection - say GPRS - is not too good, but it still works.
  • Work with computers running Server 2012: yes.
  • Support multi-finger gestures: yes, at least zooming and scrolling. See help page.
  • Free is always nice: yes, it's free.

I have nothing more to say about it - it works fine - so there's feature list from iTunes:

  • Interact with your computer as though sitting in front of it.
  • Support for Bonjour, making it simple to locate and connect to compatible computers.
  • Give connections user-friendly names, and see desktop previews.
  • Pinch to zoom in to a specific area, or out to see the whole picture.
  • Easy navigation, scrolling, dragging, and selection using standard touch, tap, and drag gestures.
  • Mouse button mode for precise control over mouse button and scrolling operations.
  • Easy text entry using on-screen keyboard with preview.
  • Important non-character keyboard keys (function, modifier, and so on) available on a scrolling key bar.
  • Automatic performance optimization.
  • Support for screen resolutions up to 5120 by 2400 pixels (though the actual resolution is limited only by the memory of your device).

Of course, it is not RDP client, so you need to install VNC server to your Windows machine. Doesn't have to be RealVNC.

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