New Microsoft Remote Desktop for IOS

Interestingly, Microsoft have released their first update for over a year to Remote Desktop for IOS. There is a list of improvements on the IOS App Store.

Having tested this very briefly, the overall experience feels much more natural than the previous version and the horrible 4 arrows navigation has gone, thankfully.

I have however, tested this using Accessibility Assistive Touch switched on with my iPad Pro 10.5” and my trusty Citrix X1 mouse and the Apple Magic Mouse 2 (which is a bit more difficult to connect, you have to use Accessibility -> Switch, not just Assistive Touch and add Bluetooth devices). Both worked fine.

Unlike Jump Desktop for IOS, which naturally supports the X1 mouse, giving completely normal control over the cursor in a session (which is our main go to tool for any remote support needs), MS Remote Desktop does display the assistive touch ‘blob’ within a session. There is an option to toggle between using your finger (or the blob with mouse) to selected menus, fields, etc. or control the standard cursor with your finger from a distance, which allows for finer control. I’ve attached a photo below of my iPad ‘workstation’ setup for when I want to travel very light, showing both mice. I haven’t tried my Surface Mouse as yet, which is the travel mouse.

The photo shows the use of the cursor over the Edit menu with the ‘blob’ lower right, but it can be as far way from cursor as needed.

Funnily enough, without the mouse connected I used the cursor/blob combination as it allows finer control and I can see what is happening, which isn’t possible when my finger is obscuring the touchpoint. But with the mouse connected, the ‘blob’ (I’m really sorry, but I don’t know what else to call it and blob is short) as it has a centre point and is transparent enough to use as a cursor on its own; with the cursor option enabled, I kept forgetting I wasn’t controlling it directly.

All in all, this is a really good upgrade and one I’d now happily recommend to my clients, which is timely as we gradually phase out the Citrix servers and move purely to RemoteApp.

If Microsoft can leverage the Accessibility option to remove the ‘blob’ and give the X1 mouse/Jump Desktop experience, it will provide a completely natural way of using the full FileMaker Pro (Advanced) experience on IOS within a Remote Desktop (not tested) or Workspace environment.