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LogMeIn adds Android remote support

LogMeIn, a company that specialises in remote support technology, is currently demonstrating its support for the Android platform at Mobile World Congress.Rescue+Mobile for Android allows IT support to remotely access a user's Android-based smartphone - of which the T-Mobile G1 is currently the only example on sale - and troubleshoot problems by taking over the handset.

LogMeIn, a company that specialises in remote support technology, is currently demonstrating its support for the Android platform at Mobile World Congress.

Rescue+Mobile for Android allows IT support to remotely access a user's Android-based smartphone - of which the T-Mobile G1 is currently the only example on sale - and troubleshoot problems by taking over the handset.

LogMeIn already provides similar support for rival platforms include Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Symbian. The iPhone is not supported in this way - although the company does provide a reverse application for that platform, allowing an iPhone user to remotely control their desktop from the handset - because Apple does not allow third-party applications to run in the background on an iPhone.

Richard Redding, LogMeIn's vice president and general manager of mobile, told ZDNet UK at the show that he was hearing of "a lot of development on the application and device side [regarding Android], not just on phones [but also] netbooks".

"It's starting on phones, but Google seems to see it as an extended platform," Redding said.

A key difference between Rescue+Mobile for Android, as opposed to the equivalents for other platforms, is that the application must be preinstalled on the handset. Versions for other mobile platforms allow over-the-air installation but, according to Redding, the "accessibility for [Android] APIs" is a current limitation.

Redding acknowledged that Android was not yet a corporate staple, but said releasing the product now was "an extension of [LogMeIn's] technology leadership position" and a "logical next step" for the company.

"We're working closely with Google," Redding said. "They like this product — it helps developers support applications".

Csaba Jaromi, a sales engineer with LogMeIn, demonstrated the product for ZDNet UK. "By the time enterprise usage of Android [appears], we will be there as a helpdesk tool," he said, adding that carriers and device manufacturers could also use Rescue+Mobile for supporting their Android users.