MATLAB Spoken Here

Introducing MATLAB Mobile – an iPhone app to connect remotely to your MATLAB 193

Posted by Michael Katz,

This week I’d like to introduce guest poster Leslie Mehrez from our marketing team. She’s going to tell you about an exciting new frontier for MATLAB and scientific computation.

Today is an exciting day for MathWorks as we take our first step into the world of mobile computing with the introduction of MATLAB Mobile, a free app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. MATLAB Mobile provides a lightweight MATLAB desktop for your iPhone OS Device, giving you a remote connection to the MATLAB running on your own computer.

MATLAB Mobile on the iPhone

MATLAB Mobile gives you command line access to MATLAB and all the products that you are licensed to use on your computer as well as the ability to view MATLAB figures on your iPhone. In order to use MATLAB Mobile, you’ll have to download the app from the App Store and install the MATLAB Connector on your computer. Check out the MATLAB Mobile page for more information and a video of how it works.

With MATLAB Mobile, you’ll no longer worry about forgetting to start that script before you leave your office. Give MATLAB Mobile a try and make your friends jealous. Let us know how you use MATLAB Mobile and what features you’d like to see next.

-by, Leslie Mehrez

193 CommentsOldest to Newest

Very nice! At first glance the application seems excellent. I was able to start using it within a minute.

I wish there’d be a way of saving figures to image files on the phone.

It says, “The MATLAB Connector is currently not available for download.”

Looks like the Connector link is working now, give it another try. If you continue to have problems send a report request to mathworks.com/support/contact_us/ .

@Marc, @Spyros, @Memming, @Yoe,
Thanks for the vote. As Android fan, I hear you loud and clear. MATLAB Mobile is our first offering in this space and we will evaluate other platforms over time. We are really glad for your enthusiasm.

@Petter,
Thanks for that feedback, we’ll consider that with our long list of desires for v2!

Awesome development. But I have to add my voice to the choir: “Android, please…”

Don’t ‘evaluate other platforms’ too long. Android is the obvious alternative, here.

Neat.
And I see a headstrong choir chanting the Androind tune…
But what about Java? It is a platform independent open standard, and well… Matlab is allready written in it.

–DA

@Daniel,
The iPhone OS requires that its apps be written in Objective-C, which precludes re-use on Android, WebOS, and Windows Mobile. It’s actually quite hard to write platform-independent UIs. We have a fair amount of native code and in our Desktop and longtime readers of the blog know we had to work pretty hard to get things to where they are now on the Mac, and there’s still a long way to go.

On the plus side, the challenge of supporting all these different hardware and OSs is an interesting one that we’re getting better at all the time.

Hmmm, wonder what’s going on here…

First of all, there was what seemed to be a great standalone matlab iphone app = imathlab (~10$ US)

which mysteriously disappeared from the itunes store. I managed to contact the author who said that he sold the app
and could not provide any more details.

As for the current offering:

(1) For people like myself who work behind a firewall it is useless
(2) Yes, in principal I could try to run it through my home matlab, but I would have to leave the computer on all day in the off chance that I access it. Not an environmentally smart option. Thus, useless to me.

Here’s my suggestion:

Please restore some version of imathlab. I’m sure it would sell.

An array editor would be very useful. Collecting data with your cell phone on the field could prove very useful. The data will end up in Matlab in your office and you will be able to perform some quick calculations before you get back.

An array editor would add many possibilities.

Bravo. Very nice for a 1.0

Ideas for future:
1) Tab completion on the phone would be cool. Save some typing.
2) Have figures with uicontrols show up properly on the phone.
3) It would be cool with 2 above to be able to interact with figures.
4) It would be ultimately cool if with 2 and 3 above you could arrange to connect to a running MCR session of a compiled app.
5)

All of these would be pretty complex but we can dream big!!

Anyways thanks for my Monday highlight.

Matt W

I’m using Matlab with a network / campus license from my University and really would like to try out the app on my phone. Is that possible?

@Matt,
Thanks for the feedback, those are great suggestions.

@Max,
If you are licensed to use MATLAB and can install the connector on a computer with that license, and can leave it running with and connect to that machine, you can run MATLAB Mobile with it.

I’m a bit concerned about security for this.

Are you sending the password from the iP/hone/ad in clear text to the “host” machine? How is the password you set stored on the host machine, e.g., in an encrypted file or ???

N0o0o0o0o0o0O! Is there a way to upgrade to that without having to pay full price? I love MATLAB so much, that I even made a I (MATLAB logo) MATLAB shirt, that mimics the I <3 NY shirts. I’d love to have access to my code from my phone. That would make me such a baller…

Would writing the client in javascript, css & html work? Then you would be able to access Matlab remotely on any device with internet access, and presumably you could use a little device-specific glue to make it appear native. Perhaps you could use a “web-based ssh” client as a model, and you could look at the “phonegap” website for tips. I have no idea how difficult it would actually be, though.

Best of luck to you all, and I look forward to a remote client that works on laptops.

As in Tom’s reply (#15) I am also curious about the disappearance of iMathlab. That app would have been useful to me, whereas this one is not. I came across this searching for iMathlab, will pass because I need an app that runs on my mobile not in symbiosis with some other machine.

I am really excited to see this application!

I however cannot use it, as I and currently using an android phone.

I am looking forward in hopes of android support in the near future.

@Mike,

hey mike, im also a student and saw max question.

actually, student CAN’T use this app because we are unable to download the connector !

in order to download the PC connector u need to have a license assigned, yet we can’t assign a license because its not ours, it’s the university’s.

please allow download of the connector without license for students, it will help alot !!!

thanks, please let me know…
Zohar.

I get the message:

The MATLAB Connector and MATLAB Mobile for iPhone are currently not available for download.

@Bryan,

Where did you get the message? Maybe the server was offline, can you try again?

@Zohar,
The issue is that you need a MathWorks account with a registered license. If you bought a copy of the Student version, you would have created a MathWorks account to activate it. The email address there has to match. If you are using your university’s license, then I’d guess the license administrator has a MathWorks account associated there. I don’t have an answer yet if we’ll have a solution for that case.

I would say that Palm has many resources available to developers showing how easy it can be to port any iPhone application to the webOS platform. And if the code was written in C/C++ and transposed to Objective-C, even better.

But I do know that its often difficult to find the time to launch one platform and support it, and simultaneously launch on other platforms and then prepare to support them as well.

Hopefully we’ll all soon be coding away on our phones while on the plane, train, bus, or commode.

@Francois,

Nope. If we do make a version available for Android or other mobile platforms it won’t be right away.

Why not make the matlab connector I/O docs public (or are they?). With the apps public, anybody could write an app for any platform to communicate with the connector on the computer…you could unleash the masses to write all these apps for you, since you already wrote the connector…I ask because i develop for android, and would be very interested in writing a matlab mobile for the android phone…I just need to know how to make it interact with the matlab connector server.

To me it is a waste of time, I think more people would care about a decent remote desktop that is not super slow.

@Stefano,
There are general remote desktop apps for mobile devices. We’re just trying to solve a limited workflow.

I’m just going to chime in and add my support for an Android version. Now I don’t know for sure if this is true, but I think that engineers and scientists (people likely to use Matlab) are the people more likely to choose Android over iOS, since there are more phone options, the platform is more open and configurable, and it’s easier to develop for.

Just my 2 cents, hope you guys consider it :)

Hey, this sounds like a useful tool, but I’m a student and, like zohar, would like to use it with the University’s license. Are you planning to make it possible? I mean, I can’t see anyone who would benefit more, we don’t have our own licenses to work with, so even few commands requires our going to the campus. Thanks!

@Andre,

Only the account associated with the license is able to download the connector. However you can ask your University’s license admin to download and make the Connector available to you. If they would allow you to open up a port on the computer.

This is interesting, but we’d never be able to install something on our desktop that allowed remote execution from another networked device.

Any thoughts about a standalone version of Matlab on a mobile device? And if the iPhone isn’t powerful enough… what about android? :)

I would realy wish to see an android app! Because we would like to build some measurement tool for that Plattform as well. So for analyzing there is Matlab the best joice!!

When will the Android Version be available?

Another loud voice for Android support :)

To give some perspective – in the Biomedical Engineering department here in Oxford we’ve a total of 3 iPhone users vs 7 Android users.

TCO for a top-end iPhone is at least triple that of the equivalent Android [ok - I'm not taking into account the iPod touch which is roughly half the price of the top-end Galaxy S - but still - most of us bought the phone and don't need a locked down mp3 player.]

I myself have a Samsung Galaxy S with a Hummingbird CPU which appears to be the cutting edge in terms of Android platforms.

What I would _love_ to see is a means of programming the mobile phone as a wireless resource for Matlab [i.e. provision for Bluetooth Comms, file storage, basic Matlab processing [either offline through a connected PC ala Matlab Mobile or online through the phone's processor], wireless camera support, wifi, GPS, accelerometer, magnenometer/compass, etc, etc.] I can’t begin to imagine how much extra functionality this would open up to Robotics engineers and more besides! :)

Hey — just putting down another vote for Android. I keep returning to this thread every now and then to see if an Android version is out yet. I would love to have it on my phone to interface with the copy of MATLAB on my computer at work.

This is great.

Just wanted to make sure people know there are also a bunch of great apps for iPhone for connecting to a server via SSH, and a few of the better ones include support for X, so any Linux program like Matlab or FSLView can be viewed/used on the iPhone. (Interface is not ideal for the platform though, so a mobile Matlab interface is very welcome!)

At the risk of sounding like a cliche…Android….please. It can’t be that difficult for coders such as yourselves :o)

Just another Android user chiming in. I use MATLAB in my engineering classes all the time and would LOVE to be able to use MATLAB Mobile on my phone. Having developed for the iPhone and using one for two years, then switching to Android, I have no regrets. With the insane growth of Android sales recently, I really hope Mathworks sees the market and potential for developing an Android version!

Yep, yet another vote for Android here.

Of the engineers I work with, 2 have iPhones. At least 7 have Android.

Like others have said, those who use MATLAB are engineers/scientist and I agree those type of people are more likely to get an Android phone. Aren’t you even a little bit curious to see what we can do if you make it available for Android phones? I know I am.

@Justin et al,
As droid user myself, I’m with you on that one. Although there’s a lot of anecdotes on here, it’d be awesome if someone had well researched stats to show that scientists overwhelmingly prefer Android to iOS. In the meantime, all I can say is that we hear you, but I can’t make any comments to confirm or deny an Android solution.

“, it’d be awesome if someone had well researched stats to show that scientists overwhelmingly prefer Android to iOS. “

You just have to look at them. Apple is about fashion, science people don’t care about fashion…you know those mac/pc guy commercials, well, us engineers always root for the PC guy.

Android++

why it written like this >>
You must have an activated copy of MATLAB & Simulink Student Version R2010a or later to use MATLAB Mobile.

^^^^

i want to download the matlab connetector !
:(

Ok, how about building a small version of matlab for iPhone that performs basic calculations without having to connect it to a pc? I would like to be able to solve some basic equations on the go and be able to save some more complicated ones and transfer them to my normal matlab when I get back to my computer. Does it sound reasonable?

I want to add to the chorus. I can safely say most MATLAB users will be on Android. Please android. I shall wait patiently..

This looks brilliant, it’s exactly what I’ve been after…however, I’m an Android user, so I’ll add my voice to the chorus!

Here’s another plea for Android support. More anecdotal evidence: Of the 5 electrical engineers with whom I am currently working, 4 of them have Android phones. For Art & Leisure apps: certainly the iPhone market; For Science & Engineering: Android is the obvious choice. We currently have several corporate initiatives promoting Android as an embedded and hand-held platform (including tapping in to remote processing power), and zero for iOS. Please don’t ignore this market segment for too much longer!

When I read about a Matlab app for a smartphone I finally thought about getting one. A bright moment directly applicable is worth alot. Too bad, only iphone.

As a supporter of a free market, please make an Android version and let me thus pick any phone to my liking.
Thanks

Smartphone with Android is spreading rapidly in Japan. I also got new Android mobile. So MATLAB mobile for Android is really want following to other friends above.

I can understand that MATLAB looked at the iPhone first. It started the smartphone mass market, and businesses use it quite a lot (even our IT support is better for the iPhone than for Android). However, the market is changing, and Android is winning on price and volume (it certainly won my on price). We are seeing more and more budget Android phones that are surprisingly powerful. I would recommend to cater for this market.

Questions for your market research statistics: Are there more people asking for the android version in this thread, or iPhone MATLAB mobile users (not downloads)? What percentage of iPhone users have even heard of MATLAB?

Someone here should mention getting this on Android. ;)

Maybe we need to open-source this? Get some people together and make it happen? :P

Now that I’m aware of Matlab Mobile, I don’t think I can ignore the fact that it isn’t on my phone or tablet (I may have forgotten to mention ANDROID).

Thanks for your work on this – I loved Matlab Mobile on iPhone (iPod touch actually), and recently switched to a Droid X. You know what I’m gonna say…

I know it takes effort and we appreciate that.

I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but please please release an Android version as soon as possible. I and many others would be extremely grateful. Look at it this way: while iPhones are stylish, the sort of person who uses Matlab is likely to value the greater technical capabilities offered by Android, and so you are likely missing out on a large market.

@safi,

With some limitation, you can run any MATLAB program on your local machine that is on the path. You won’t be able to run programs that have GUIs, call input, or otherwise require user input before completion.

Has anyone mentioned Android yet?

Mathworks you missed a trick didn’t you? The kind of person that uses iPhone is more interested in fashion apps not engineering.

This was definitely a marketing person’s idea…

Yet another vote for Android !!!

Note that in the U.S., iPhones are limited to AT&T and Verizon, while Android phones are available at almost all carriers (T-Mobile, Sprint, Virgin, etc.).

Almost never connect successfully(the request timed out) on my thinkpad t410 laptop(windows7 or ubuntu 10.04).

@Zheng,

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty. Please contact technical support and they should be able to either help you get set up or at least diagnose the issue so we can improve it for the next release.

@Simon,

Thanks. We have no immediate plans for supporting HG GUIs on the iPhone client. Just supporting changing the aspect ratio between the desktop and device and having everything laid out correctly has been a challenge. We’ll keep you posted when we do get this going.

Just another bump for Android from another engineer!
break down of my colleges…

Android = 6
iphone = 1
blackberry = 2

***Android***Android***Android***Android***Android
***Android***Android***Android***Android***Android
***Android***Android***Android***Android***Android
***Android***Android***Android***Android***Android
***Android***Android***Android***Android***Android

In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, that the main chorus!

(from another engineer)

Engineer looking for android app.

When it comes out it would be great if it could harness the phone’s sensors. such as gps, accelerometer, and compass.

Any chance of getting MatLab Mobile for WebOS?

J/K, I meant ANDROID ;)

Now that there are several very nice Android-based tablets, this type of app could be very useful :)

Yet another vote for Android.

Also, my digital control systems professor says 3 times a lecture, it would be nice for you to have access to Matlab on the exam. Out of 23 students, 5 have iPhones and 15 have Android based phones, and 3 don’t have a smart phone.

So, please at 15 to my vote. Thanks

Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet… when will it be available on ANDROID ?

(I mean, seriously, how many Matlab users would get sucked in by Apple?)

Using MatLab since 1985. It did not begin with Apple II. Android is the mobile tech for MatLab.

I wonder why Matlab Mobile does not support an offline mode? It might be pretty useful to test some things even when you are not connected with your computer. This should be the main advantage of the Mobile Matlab, shouldn’t it??
I am quite surprised to discover that it only works in the online mode.

no one of our big matlab users at the university use windows or mac, and also almost no one uses an iphone =)… don’t understand why beginning with iphone…

I need an Android version of Matlab which can run locally on my Android phone (without remote desktop connection to my computer/laptop). It is not practical to be connected remotely in my case.

Come on, iphone users are either someone haven’t even heard about matlab or someone too lazy to use matlab heavily. Do they really care? Android, do it!

Xindong—Let me start by saying that I personally share your view that MathWorks should develop for the Android platform. But I’m not certain why you chose to express this view by insulting me.

I have been using MATLAB for 24 years, and for the last 18 years developing MATLAB software has been my job.

I have also been a Droid owner for almost two years, and I liked that phone quite a lot. And yet over the weekend I switched to an iPhone. For own my work and personal needs, for my own usage patterns, and for my own sense of design, I find the new iPhone to be a far superior device, and I am really happy to have made the switch.

But you think that makes me either ignorant of MATLAB or too lazy to use it?

Do you really think that tossing around insults is the most effective approach here?

Steve

Hear hear! I’m all for TMW supporting android – but I have an iPhone and am a long-time MATLAB user. Surprising really, that despite being incredibly ignorant and lazy I used MATLAB almost every day during my PhD!

Xindong, take note… Smart and hard working people use iPhones too…

I see people requesting MATLAB mobile for Android since May 24th LAST YEAR. What’s taking so long!?! Why can’t you port it to Android?

I already have an Android tablet, so I would like to see that supported. I have a few questions:

(1) Is there a significant (though largely silent because they are happy?) iPhone cohort using the app?

(2) Is there any current effort to provide Android support?

(3) @Steve Hey man, don’t be insulted — you know people can say dumb stuff they think is funny. Can you enlighten me a bit on why iPhone might be a superior platform? Thanks.

Tim—I was not insulted. People say worse things about us all the time, and I’m (mostly) used to it. I was merely calling into question the tactic of throwing around gratuitous (and obviously false) insults as a way to try to get MathWorks to do something.

As for iPhone versus Android, I have no particular desire to get into a public back-and-forth about that. It was not my intent to make arguments in favor of one mobile platform or against another. I only state that I really liked my Droid, and now I really like my new iPhone even better. And I don’t think that makes me lazy or ignorant. :-)

Tim (and others)—I’ve worked at MathWorks almost 18 years now. In that time the company culture has been very consistent on one point … we never (well, almost never) say anthing publicly about products or features that are not yet released. MathWorks is not about vaporware. Many people draw various conclusions from MathWorks silence on various topics, and those conclusions are often just plain wrong.

this post has 163 comments and most of them are about the android version!

maybe, just maybe it would be a good idea too make an android app too… i’m just sayin… :|

I am guessing that since this is well over a year and a half old that they have stopped doing ANY work on this for the ANDROID! :evil:

@Eyal,
Yes, as you can from the comments list here that you are not the first to express your desire for an android version of MATLAB Mobile. Right now we are actively developing it, but I can not tell you when it will be ready, nor am I be able to give an estimate. In the meantime, you can use MATLAB on a computer running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.

1) Another vote for Android, because it can’t hurt
2) I’d like to be able to edit code on my tablet, especially on airplanes which I tend to be on frequently for business; I’m not dumb enough to try to do serious simulations or anything on my tablet, just want try out little bits of code to make sure my i’s are dotted and my semi-colons are in the right places. A stripped down, off-line version of matlab with editing capability (and maybe the Help menus) would be super helpful, and sensible since so many people are turning to tablets over laptops for traveling.

Are we going to really going to have to say that we had to wait over a year for an Android version? It’s really no fun having to compute data into Matlab from VNC on my phone. :/

A progress report or sign of activity in this sector would be enough to keep me content for a while.

@Cayley,

Thank you for the suggestion.

@Steve R,
I’m not sure when you started waiting, but I can tell you that we will have an official android version. But, we don’t have a release date scheduled yet.

I understand these apps just connect to matlab on a computer. Although that is better then nothing, why dont you actually make a stripped down version that actually runs on the phone or tablet ?

The phones and tablets are getting insane processors and ram already. There is talk of quadcores with above 2ghz coming out the coming year. With options to dock to keyboards for the newest tablets I believe it might be an important business direction to focus on a ‘full’ matlab version for android and IOs.

While I understand that thee is no determined release date, is there currently any kind of alpha or beta testing going on right now or is it still in main code design / development? Thanks!

The following question has been posted elsewhere in the forum but as far as I know it is unresolved. So I am re-posting here hoping to get an answer from The Mathworks.

I am struggling with connecting the iPad app to my PC, I either get the request timed out or I get an error message which reads:
HTTP ERROR: 503
SERVICE_UNAVAILABLE
RequestURI=/

The installation is successful on both the PC and iPad. Tried changing ports, password, turning anti-virus off, checking port availability using netstat.

Please help,
Thanks!!!

And?… Still there is no Matlab for the most powerfull smartphones (those which has quad-core processors and can handle big calculations like Galaxy SIII or One X)… I don’t understand…

Hi,

I have been evaluating Matlab Mobile, and have two questions for you:

1. How can we DELETE a file that we have uploaded on the Matlab Cloud? So far, all we can do is upload and download them, but there doesn’t seem to be an option to REMOVE a file that has been uploaded to the cloud space.

2. Matlab Mobile has disabled all user input features in Matlab. This defeats the core purpose of Matlab Mobile: to get user input on the fly, crunch numbers and produce output on the go. Please let us know if Matlab Mobile will include user input features, and if so, when. The feature has not been available since 2012: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/31666

I am in the process of selecting a computation platform for all my future mobile computation needs. The answers to the aforementioned questions will determine which platform I select. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

I have previously posted a question related to accessing the Iphone’s camera and I’m so thankful for getting the answer about it. Yet the solution posted in the answer of the IP Cam program existed on apple store isn’t working so well for my application because I’m trying to build a real time image capturing program using Iphone’s camera and Matlab mobile with later processing, so far I’ve downloaded MATLAB Mobile and the connector and connected the Iphone to MATLAB on my laptop, so is there any one who knows how to access the Iphone’s camera on MATLAB Mobile and capture the image so that it can be stored on MATLAB workspace for later processing ? I’d appreciate your answer very much and thank you in advance.

P.S: if there is a solution on android’s devices it’s also work for me

These postings are the author's and don't necessarily represent the opinions of MathWorks.