First Look: Avvenu Access 'n Share

Want to know how to access your PC files remotely from almost any smartphone? Watch this video to get going.

This article was updated 6:00 pm on 3/16/08.

Let's get right to the point: Avvenu Access 'n Share is phone-to-PC remote access service with a strong base and a lot of good potential. With it, you can view and edit files stored on your PC from any smartphone. Provided your computer is running when you log in to your Avvenu account, you'll see your file system reproduced on the phone's screen. As long as your phone is outfitted with a third-party document viewer, you'll be able to remotely read and edit documents. Photos also render well.

Upgrading from the basic free service lets subscribers hand-pick which documents, photos, and videos they want stored on Avvenu's servers, for access whenever the computer is logged off or powered down. A few quibbles mar the overall experience: The beta version of Avvenu's music player has ceased being supported, Avvenu's founder Keith Barraclough told me, and the number of clicks it takes to get from the file tree to the meat of your content is wearisome. Also, the search function only works if you've got Google Desktop installed on your PC.

However, Nokia's December 2007 acquisition of Avvenu spells out change. Barraclough hinted that, supported by Nokia's greater resources, users can expect to see a faster, more streamlined remote access product that fully supports multimedia playback and lives up to its potential usefulness.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.