Need to drive headless Mac from iPad

I’ve just ordered a shiny new Mac mini!

I have an ageing, creaky mid-2012 MacBook Pro, but I’m considering switching to a (almost)-all-iPad life. There are a few apps/tasks that still need a Mac (form printing, labels, FileMaker databases etc), so I’m planning to run the Mac mini headless and VNC into it when necessary. Everything else can be done from an iPad and, if this works out, I’ll upgrade my 10.5” iPad Pro to a new 12.9” iPad with new keyboard & pencil.

I’ve tried a couple of VNC clients on the iPad, accessing my MBP through the screen sharing function built in. Those I have tried seem to be rather clunky. The onscreen keyboard is poor and there seems to be no external mouse support, they can’t wake the Mac on demand, it will have to be left running with sleep disabled.

I haven’t yet tried any of the more expensive offerings on the iPad App Store. Before I do I thought I’d ask here if anyone has a good solution for an iPad Connection client for accessing a headless Mac?


Without the mouse support, I would recommend Screens.

With mouse support (mouse connected to your iPad, only two models are supported), I only know one solution: Jump Desktop. (Have a look at the video there.)

Please keep writing about your experience going with your iPad and a headless Mac mini. This might be a model I could imagine for myself in a few years’ time. :slight_smile:


I have used the trackpad in app purchase a reasonable amount and find it to be a good solution - my iPhone becomes a trackpad and my iPad is a optional touch screen.


Seconding the recommendation for Screens and the trackpad add-on - I use this setup for administering and running specific workflows on my colo’d and home-based Mac Minis (both headless).


Similar setup and while Screens is great and
they tout their improved WOL support with every release, I find I need a separate app.

Have had great success with the Mocha WOL
(Wake on LAN) app

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I like jump. Screens used to work for me but something changed and I can’t connect from outside the network (home, work, or vpn).

I’ve just seen this?
Looks like a clever option albeit not cheap as you need to buy their adaptor.