YuuGuu Beta Review

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Editors' rating:

This collaborative remote access tool is promising but needs a serious speed boost.

Unlike many remote-access programs, the beta version of YuuGuu focuses on sharing. It lets you collaborate with other users by letting them view your screen, letting you view theirs, and even trading control of each other's computer. However, this intriguing mix of remote access, collaboration, instant messaging, and even phone conferencing is not quite ready for prime time.

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Like an IM client, the Mac- and PC-compatible YuuGuu sits on your desktop and your remote desktop or your friends' desktops, so you can see one another's presence and invite the others to join a shared-screen session. A "Web session" lets you invite a nonmember by sending him or her a Web URL and a PIN number.

This is not a remote-access program in the typical sense, because you cannot control an unattended PC and you do not share or transfer files between machines. When a remote user requests control of the host PC screen, someone at the host PC must accept the request within 10 seconds to share control of the screen; otherwise, the request times out.

When a remote user has control of a host PC, he can open programs and do pretty much anything a live user at the host end can do, but the host user can take over the mouse at any time and end the remote control by clicking the Return Control button. YuuGuu is best for showing someone a demo on their own PC or giving support to a colleague. Because the system is using YuuGuu as the intermediary and users aren't connecting directly to your PC, there is no stated or practical limit on the number of people who can view your PC at one time.

In this most basic function of screen sharing, however, the program is sluggish. Whether in the desktop client that your registered buddy uses or the browser screen used by Web Share invitees, we experienced a lag of up to 3 seconds between the host-screen actions and their appearance on remote PCs. The updates were so jagged and slow that following a simple cursor moving across the host's screen was nearly impossible. Overall, the experience was frustrating. We also could not add a Web Share invitee to a current session that included our YuuGuu contacts.

Some nice ideas are at work here, however. You can use a phone to call into a conference bridge to speak during the shared session. Calls were clear, and the chat window allows for text exchanges that are retained in a history for future reference. But until YuuGuu makes the core screen-sharing feature faster, most business users will find this tool more frustrating than useful.

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Software Type Business Software
Software Type Web App
Platforms Windows
Platforms Mac
Required Processor 500-MHz PowerPC G4 processor or faster (Mac)
Required Processor 1-GHz processor (PC)
Software Required OS: Windows Vista, XP, Me, Home, 2000, or Mac OS X v10.3
Required RAM 256MB (Mac)
Required RAM 512MB (PC)
Disk Space 42MB
Company Website http://www.yuuguu.com
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