Library and Connection Windows

Screens, the popular and powerful VNC client for OS X (with an iOS counterpart), has been updated to version 3.0, introducing a host of new features. But the update is more than just a few new features crammed into old software. The entire app has been completely rewritten with an all-new interface, big speed enhancements, and other optimizations for OS X Mavericks.

For the full details on what’s new, keep reading:

Other than the new UI, Screens 3 introduces a variety of new features, including the ability to set it as your primary VNC app for connections through Finder and VNC URLs. You can also find a list of your recent connections through a new menu bar item that will allow you quickly connect to any of them with one click. Additionally, this menu can show any discovered connections that are available.

Also new in version 3 is the ability to remap certain keyboard shortcuts. The controls for features like Mission Control and Spaces, for example, can be remapped to avoid conflicting shortcuts on your local and remote machines. Improved support for the pasteboard allows you to copy and paste anything between remote and local machines using standard OS X commands.

Perhaps even more useful than all of these, however, is the ability to set a logout action for the remote computer. This allows you to setup certain actions, such as logging out the current user or activating the screensaver, when you end your VNC session. The update also allows you to select a specific display on the remote machine to display, giving you greater control over exactly what you see. This capability has been available on the iOS version since it was updated for iOS 7, so this addition brings feature parity between the two platforms.

Screens 3 is a massive revamping of one of the most popular VNC clients available, but the most surprising part of the update isn’t what it includes. It’s what’s missing: an upgrade fee. Anyone who owns the previous version of Screens can download the 3.0 update for free from the Mac App Store right now. The price for new users is the same as the previous version: $34.99.

You can also buy the app from the developers’ website for the first time, but be warned: the version available on the web store does not include iCloud support (because Apple doesn’t allow apps to use iCloud unless they’re sold through the App Store). The Mac App Store build does support iCloud, just like the iOS version (which is available for $19.99).

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