The Citrix Receiver for iPhone 1.0 is now available in the App Store ! This is the product thousands of our users have been ( impatiently ) waiting for. The 1.0 release includes support for Access Gateway and RSA 2 Factor authentication enabling secure access over WiFi or 3G networks anywhere.
To provide some history on what influenced this new Citrix Receiver look back to last year when Apple released the iPhone SDK. We had lots of discussion inside Citrix about the priority and significance of developing a client for the iPhone. Although it was possible to access Citrix servers from mobile devices in the past, the user experience was poor due to screen size, slow networks and cumbersome input. The iPhone finally provided a platform that had a relatively large screen, a 3G network and the awesome gesture feature that made panning and zooming usable.
So we knew we could do it, the question was should we do it. Beyond the typical business case with projections of users/licenses and data points of individual customer requests we did an experiment by posting the question to the entire community. As you may have noticed this single blog post now has over 200,000 views and 200+ comments.
Interestingly the comments came not only from our common base of IT pro’s but a surprising amount came from end users as well. These are just a few examples of what we heard..
” Hospitalists want to use this. We have Cerner here, and I need Citrix working to connect to it. I would use this 50 times a day. Right now I have to repeatedly sign in to different terminals. The iPhone is the right form factor for this. Laptops / tablets are too bulky for doctors to carry around -- we often do not have a surface to put them on. ..David”
“It’s not just the medical community. I’m Director of IT for a large chemical company. I have a highly mobile user base – engineers visiting the production facilities, etc. Currently they are all armed with Blackberry devices. That’s great for email only….. but forget attachments or getting into some of the apps we currently host in a Citrix environment (such as our production scheduling tool). An iPhone client solves these problems. We’d be off the Blackberry platform and onto the iPhone with Citrix very quickly. By the way, we have a huge investment in the Citrix platform, and it’s getting larger – more and more of our users are moving away from laptops to thin clients. A Citrix client on the iPhone will come close to eliminating the need for any laptops at all from most users. Do it, and do it fast ! “
“It’s not just the medical or chemical companies, I am the CIO for a logistics company, and we do all of our global operations using MetaFrame, and having it on my iPhone really helps.”
Regarding the use cases, the blog comments describe many of them. I think it’s mostly a matter of how mobile the users are as to how often this client will be used. For office based workers that have an iPhone it may be a just another cool app helps out in a pinch. But for the increasing mobile workforce that absolutely needs access to apps & data anywhere … it’s priceless… ( just like when you need to get to a server and you only have your phone with you) It seems that most everyone would like to be able to leave their laptop home, myself included.
So let us know what you think, do you agree with the rest of the Citrix Community? Does it live up to your expectations ? Download the Citrix Receiver from the App Store and try it out. If you are not ready to put it in your production environment yet, register for the free demo at CitrixCloud.net and test the sample apps plus the great new App we built called Doc Finder. If you want to build your own environment to test your own apps try the C3 Lab in Amazon EC2.
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