LogMeIn – DOESN’T WORK AS ADVERTISED – If You Use a Mac Don’t Waste Your Money

July 9, 2010

in ipad, iphone

It’s not often I feel misled by a product and the hoopla surrounding it. LogMeIn Ignition for iPad/iPhone (see below for their description) is misrepresented on their site. It’s simply not a secure solution and not worth 29.99 from the iTunes store. I’ll share my story and you can be the judge if my expectations are unfair or unreasonable. I spoke with a LogMeIn tech too looking for resolution.

This is my issue.

  1. IPad app has remote “blank screen” and “lock keyboard” capability.
  2. This “security feature” is not available on or doesn’t work with a Mac. THEY CLAIM IT DOES SORT OF
  3. Nowhere in the marketing on iTunes or on the LogMeIn site does it state that using this app with your Mac may leave that Mac open to other users even after you have logged off (Exiting the iPad).
  4. As the lock screen and the lock keypad is unavailable it is sort of pointless using the wake-up feature.
  5. LogMeIn can not refund your money because it was purchased via iTunes – take it up with them they say.How convenient!

I set up LogMeIn on my Mac after signing up for a standard account. I then purchased it for my iPad from the iTunes store. $29.99. I connected back to my MacBookPro with no problems. It took only a moment to figure out how to move the mouse on my iPad. It’s slower of course than just being on my Mac but really quite usable. The time delay was minimal on my home wifi network – although I imagine this could be slower on some connections. I was soon looking at the settings. There’s clearly a remote “screen” and “keyboard” lock available. I flicked them to on. I thought my laptop screen and keyboard would blank and lock. They didn’t. I rebooted and reset both devices a couple of times. I couldn’t get it to work. I went to the support pages. I accessed this page. How do I blank the host screen’s display while in remote control?

And while this doesn’t seem to be specific it doesn’t mention MAC’s or OSX as being incompatible. I have no idea if they are or aren’t with DPMS. But there was nothing I could apparently download. I rated the page a 1. I then called customer support.

The support tech was pretty unclear at first. I was way ahead of him re notes on the page, familiarity with the iPad and the software. He apparently had it working on an Android and while busy with my support inquire apparently logged into a mac etc. He also contacted some of his colleagues. I reiterated my problem a couple of times. That logging into to my Mac via my iPad left it exposed. Their site info states:

Option settings for optimizing the experience of connecting to and controlling the remote computer, including locking the remote computer’s keyboard, blanking the screen of the remote PC and screen resolution.

I guess this is the bullshit legal thing. Since when is a Mac in this regard not a PC? I can only assume this claim is effectively fraudulent. Let’s be even more obvious. How many iPad users or iPhone users have a Mac? I bet it is a lot. So if you create a product for them you’d expect them to connect to a Mac. Why is there NO WHERE something that says… if you have a MAC this will not work as advertised? Well he confirmed that the controls are their and only work on Windows machines. It doesn’t say.. won’t work with Mac – it just doesn’t. I asked him how many iPad/iPhone users probably have a Mac. I’m  sure a good number. That’s why I’d expect this to work.

So I asked for a refund. I was told that they can’t give a refund and I’d have to apply through the iTunes store. I’m not sure how you get a refund via the iTunes store. Sort of thought it impossible. In other words you spend your money and weep if the product doesn’t work. I’d have been less incensed if the product was at a price point that was much lower. However, I was prepared to pay $30 bucks for a product that would give my iPad more flexibility. I got a tough luck buddy. He said he’d never had this complaint before.

For my part I’ve seen a number of reviews. It was my impression that LogMeIn was one of the top grossing apps for iPad on iTunes. Certainly many people were writing it up that it was easy etc. I should have stuck to a VNC solution. It would have been cheaper and probably provided the security that should be built in. So think twice before you buy this app.

If you don’t lock your Mac, then it works. If you log out of your account then it isn’t going to work either. And when you log in your screen and keyboard will be available. You can only wake from sleep if it is hard tethered to your router. While I don’t see this as a big issue the LogMeIn site lacks instructions for proper wakeup and sleep setting.

Let me give an example where these controls aren’t just based on security. I’m at a show. My Mac is being used as a “presenter” hooked to a large Display. The Mac is hidden away. The iPad can be used from anywhere at the show to key up new presentations, play music even to activate remote skype sessions. They keyboard in this instance remains locked.

That’s the type of functionality I thought I should get for $29.99. BTW it seems the latest update doesn’t provide multi-tasking for iPhone 4.

More descriptive stuff from LogMeIn:

One click on your iPhone or iPad lets you remotely access one
or more computers anywhere, anytime. So you never have to worry about
leaving anything behind. Directly control your desktop, all your apps
and all your files – like that important presentation for your boss or
that important photo album for your mom – with a simple touch.

Now one last thing… really makes one wonder. You can simply log in from Safari on the iPad without an APP. Although You cannot download the plug-in to Safari that might make it work eg to type a document you can certainly click around.

LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone and iPad is a fast and simple way to connect to your LogMeIn Pro² and
LogMeIn Free

One click and your
iPhone or iPad becomes an extension of your work or home computer

  • Your login information and preferences
    are stored securely
  • Access from anywhere
    without having to remember passwords
  • Mary

    Oh dear. I just bought it and was looking for information on how to install it. Sigh.

  • John

    I bought this and this was the first thing I noticed while testing it out at home. Everything I did was clearly visible on my host Mac computer. The keyboard was available, so if I was really remotely accessing my computer and someone walks innmy office, that person could assume control of my Mac and kick me off. $30 bucks down the drain. Unless I lock my Mac in a secure location this is pointless to use remotely. It is the most expensive app I have purchased for my iPad and I am so disappointed. I wish j would have known about this issue before purchasing!

  • Bruce

    Good Day Stuart,
    I have discovered the same issues as you described. The Logmein tech support did not know about it not locking on a Mac, or at least he acted that way. It also looks like I have trial license for Pro2 and will at some point have to purchase yearly license. I have not been able to verify this, but there was no mention of this when purchasing the IPAD app or opening a Logmein account.

    I have a open trouble ticket with ITunes in an attempt to get my money back, I’ll give them one chance to make this right with me. Don’t get wrong, I like the app, it works well, I just can’t leave my host unsecured.

    Next steps if there is no refund: 1-File a chargeback with my bank, this does not look good for Logmein or ITunes. 2- File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, they clearly won’t want this on their record as it stays on the FTC public website “Permanently”.

    More people need to stand up and exercise their rights. Companies that pull this kind of crap need to be flogged in public until they fix their unfair and hidden practices or they need to driven out of business.

    Best Regards,

  • dave

    I’m having the same issues, it seems the mac os version is crippled. when it locks the mac it tells me the mac is still online!
    When I try to connect to the mac it says cloud not connect the host computer must be powered on and connected to the internet.

    Logme in forum is full of users with the same issue I suggest people with logmein ignition from the app store give it a one star rating and leave a comment. Hopefully that will actually make them fix it!

  • VirtualEnder

    I have to say I am a happy user of LogMeIn ignition, and I use it to control both a Mac and several PCs. While they technically should mention the issue of it not locking the Mac, I don’t see this as a major issue. That is one tiny part of the functionality of the program, and there is most likely a disclaimer somewhere on their site that the user experience may not be equivalent when connecting to all machines, e.g. not all features may be available for all OSs. That issue is not only for the Ignition app as well. It applies to using the web interface from any computer.

    I was aware of this issue before I bought Ignition. You technically should have know it existed before you ever purchased the App, as the issue is with the free service as well.

    As far as the trial period of Pro, you can just let it expire and you go back to the free version. When I am setting up new computers with LogMeIn, I always make sure to un-check the Pro trial option during set-up as I am not interested in it. Most features, including the use of Ignition continue to work in the standard Free account.

    Also, if you’re using this in an enterprise environment, it should be supported by your IT department, and you shouldn’t really be using things to access your computer remotely without their permission. The Pro features are specifically designed for enterprise use, and give much more control over these time of security features.

  • I’m glad you find LogMeIn to work well for you. I’ve continued to look for updates to solve what I’ll continue to see as a security issue. Not long after writing the post I was contacted by LogMeIn. They said fixing the Mac was on their Roadmap. It’s still not fixed. To my knowledge they never said this was an Apple related problem. I’d still question using a product for this purpose that lacks this type of security.

  • Hi there,

    do you happen to know whether LogmeIn have eventually fixed this issue?
    I totally agree with you guys on that it’s pointless in first place to use a remote connection that way from a security standpoint. So I want to be sure that things have been properly fixed before purchasing. Thanks

  • Nope not been fixed!

  • Great. Thanks for confirming 🙁

  • john click

    I’m a Mac user, and I think I liked LogMeIn better than you did, but it ultimately wasn’t my cup of tea, either. A much better solution I’ve found for remote access is RHUB’s service. It’s easy to use and much more secure. (RHUB works from behind your firewall.)

  • john click

    I’m a Mac user, and I think I liked LogMeIn better than you did, but it ultimately wasn’t my cup of tea, either. A much better solution I’ve found for remote access is RHUB’s service. It’s easy to use and much more secure. (RHUB works from behind your firewall.)

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