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Mobile Apps

QNAP has a suite of mobile applications for both iOS and Android platforms. If you click on the QNAP Mobile App tab on the bottom of the landing screen, you’ll land at this page:

QNAP Mobile Apps

QNAP Mobile Apps

However, not all apps are available on all platforms. I went to the Google Play store as well as the Apple App store to check for application availability. All of the apps listed are available for the iPhone, but only about half of the apps have iPad-specific apps. The chart below indicates whether or not there is app support for the platform indicated.

QNAP Mobile App support by platform

QNAP Mobile App support by platform

The gallery below illustrates features from the Qfiile, Qmanager, Qmusic and Qmobile apps. You'll note from the screenshots that I used a mixture of platforms in the gallery.

Mobile Apps Gallery

Closing Thoughts

The previous version of QNAP’s OS was playing catch-up to the more fully-featured DSM4.x OS found in Synology’s latest products. But QNAP QTS 4.0 seems to have caught up and leveled the playing field with Synology.

I tested most of the applications both on a local network and a remote network on an iPad, Android Phone and a Nexus 7 tablet. For the most part, the applications were very similar. But as noted, not all of the applications were available for Android and for half of the apps, you had to use an iPhone version on your iPad. Some of the features were tagged with “beta”. Clearly, those were still in development.

CloudLink was probably the biggest disappointment. I was hoping that the “secret sauce” would actually let me connect to the QNAP device using my “myqnapcloud.com” account, but it didn’t. Admittedly, UPnP worked very smoothly and there were no hiccups setting up remote access.

Of course, some readers probably don’t keep UPnP enabled for security reasons. I suspect that those readers would also have no problems making a handful of port forwarding entries in their router. But QNAP's reliance on port forwarding for remote access will frustrate users who must run in a double-NAT environment (such as having an ISP-mandated modem/router that can't be bridged).

Of all of the mobile apps, probably my favorite app was Qmanager. It provided a wealth of monitoring and control capabilities. For example, when I checked the QNAP this morning from a remote location, I noted that the CPU utilization was in excess of 90%. Checking resources indicated that the transcoding process was chewing up most of the CPU.

I found that there was overlap between some of the applications. You could, for example, play music in Qfile, Qmusic and Qmobile. I would prefer one well thought-out application that does what I need to do to, i.e. manage the NAS, access files and play multimedia content seamlessly whether on the local network or a remote network.

Still, QNAP's QTS 4.0 represents a huge step forward for QNAP. I’ll be interested in seeing how some of the features and apps work when they no longer are “beta”.

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