FlickNet is a new app from the creator of FlickStart that takes the same idea and lets users control apps on the PC using a series of flick motions from either your smartphone or your Android Wear smartwatch. Just like FlickStart, you can flick your smartphone or watch in different directions to start, stop and control different things on the PC like music, movies, books and more. If you want a more convenient way to control your computer without having to actually touch it, FlickNet can provide this. Let's take a closer look at the app and see what it's capable of and how it performs.
Before you can get started, you'll first need to install the app on your smartphone and Android Wear watch by heading to the Play Store and downloading FlickNet. Following the installation, you can get started with setting everything up.
To get FlickNet working, you'll also need to make sure and install FlickStart (which we reviewed here) on your device as well as the WinFlickNet companion program on your PC, which you can grab from the downloads page on the FlickStart website.
It would also be a good idea to watch the sample video to get a feel for what FlickNet can do and to see things in action.
Once you have both apps and the WinFlickNet companion PC program installed, there are a number of different triggers you can set up for FlickNet to control by using gestures on your device, which is essentially flicking the phone in certain directions.
Depending on the trigger you choose to set up, you can control things like Windows Media Player or WinAmp for controlling media, Calibre and Kindle for PC if you want to use FlickNet to control books (flip pages), as well as Adobe reader and a few other things.
As long as both FlickNet on the phone and the WinFlickNet companion program on the PC are installed, and WinFlickNet is running, FlickNet will connect to the PC automatically. Once you have the triggers in place that you want, you can simply initiate the flick gestures to use the commands, whether it's flipping the pages of book or skipping a track in Windows Media Player.
Getting everything configured and getting the correct triggers set up can feel a little bit confusing, but once you have an idea of what you need it can be a little less intimidating.
On the other hand, there is a fairly large list of tags within the FlickStart app which can be used to control things on the PC via FlickNet, so narrowing down what you need might be where the most challenge is. One particularly useful function is the ability to use FlickNet as a keyboard and mouse.
Much like FlickStart for controlling apps on your phone with gestures, controlling programs on your PC using FlickNet is not a simple task. It also isn't impossible, but it won't be an app you can install and expect to start using within just a minute or two if you have no idea what you're doing. There is also no explicit mention that you need FlickStart installed on your mobile device as well for everything to work, which is what I personally found confusing from the start. I had troubles getting gestures to function for controlling things like the arrow keys on my PC, as it seemed to be hit and miss in my own experience. There is also a rather limited amount of programs or things on the PC you can control, so if you don't use any of those particular programs then this is mostly of no use to you. The app has huge potential though and could be extremely useful with more program support, and with a more simplified user experience it could be even better than it is now.
- Speed (4/5) – The app itself opens up quickly and functions quickly. The gestures are not as quick as the app response time but they're not slow either.
- Features (4/5) – FlickNet has a decent number of things it can control on the PC, but not nearly as many things as the FlickStart app for controlling device apps and functions.
- Theme (4/5) – The UI is basic and certainly carries no frills, but that doesn't take away from its ability to provide users with some cool functions.
- Overall (4/4) – If you're a tech-savvy individual this could be a really great app. It could be challenging for those who aren't looking to get into something that's too complex, but if you're dedicated to getting something on your device that can control PC apps, this should do the job.
- A decent number of gestures available
- Can be used with both the smartphone and an Android Wear watch just like FlickStart
- Free to use the for a week to get an idea of functionality before having to pay for the app
- Can be used as a mouse and keyboard in addition to the flick gestures for control
- Can be confusing to set up
- Needs a user-friendly walkthrough to get less technical individuals familiar with how to use it.
If you like to tinker with your devices and enjoy looking for ways to make controlling your PC easier, then you should definitely look into FlickNet and what it can offer. It might be a bit much in its current state for the average user who just wants things to be easy, but it can be quite useful if you put your mind to it and are willing to spend the time setting things up.