Citrix has just announced the availability of Citrix Receiver for Android version 2.1, which is available for immediate download from the Android Market.

This release contains a wide variety of new features that are aimed at improving the user experience on the large range of Android devices that we are seeing out there.  This is especially so on Honeycomb tablets.

To describe the new features in this release the functional areas that they impact are shown below:

  1. HDX improvements
  2. Usability improvements
  3. Web interface support
  4. IME support
  5. Deeper device integration

HDX Improvements

We’ve added two major HDX features to this release:

  1. The ability to copy and paste text from a remote application to an application running on the device.
  2. Bi-directional audio support that will enable applications that require voice input from Receiver. This will open up VoIP applications to users of Receiver for Android.

Usability Improvements

There are a number of areas where we’ve improved upon the usability of Receiver.

In-session improvements

The in-session experience has undergone a significant upgrade for this release. Major new features for the in-session experience include:

  • A trackpad which provides a mouse pointer that can be used to select objects in-session
  • A magnifier that is coupled with the mouse pointer for more precise object selection
  • An improved set of gestures which allows for more advanced two and three finger interaction with Receiver.
  • A new gestures guide that will show the set of gestures that are available on your particular Android device
  • A smart viewport feature which will allow the viewport to follow your text input as you type in your application. This is especially useful on phone form factor devices which have a limited viewport onto the session.
  • The ability to enable the auto-suggest feature of the keyboard to provide suggestions for words as you type in the session.

On Honeycomb devices access to the trackpad and magnifier controls is done directly from the action bar, allowing one-tap access to these controls.

A new built for Honeycomb UI 

This version of Receiver includes a new UI that is unique to Honeycomb tablets. As part of this rework we’ve moved commonly used actions into the Honeycomb action bar, which allows for faster access to these actions; both while managing your applications, and while you are actually working in session.

Automatic server detection

This release includes a new feature whereby providing the name of the server will allow Receiver to determine whether the server is one of the following:

  1. A XenApp services enabled server
  2. A Citrix Access Gateway and the type of gateway being used
  3. A Citrix Web Interface server (more on this below)

For the case of Citrix Access Gateway, the only information that is now requested from the user is whether the server requires two factor authentication using an RSA SecurId token.

As part of this change we’ve removed the “No authentication” option as an authentication technique. These gateways are now automatically detected by Receiver and supported in secure gateway mode.

This feature will simplify the setup and configuration of your accounts.

A more streamlined demo signup process

The demo signup process has been streamlined and simplified so that users are now able to sign for a demo account on the Citrix cloud demo site completely from within Receiver.

Citrix Web Interface support

It is now possible to add web interface accounts as managed accounts inside Receiver. The user will be presented with a web view embedded inside Receiver that will present them their web interface login page. Web interface support inside Receiver also supports SSL encrypted connections and two factor authentication.

IME Support

This release of receiver allows for the use of the client side IME to input complex characters to the session from Receiver.

Deeper device integration

As part of this release we’re integrating more deeply with the device. To this end there are two major features around this:

  1. Citrix favorites home screen widget
  2. Search manager integration

The home screen widget is a mini-application that lives on the home screen of the device and provides for rapid access to your favorite applications without having to start Receiver. Its possible to enumerate through your favorites from all your accounts and start the application by tapping on its entry in the list.

The search manager integration allows for the discovery of all your published applications in all your accounts through the use of the Google search widget. To enable this, select the search options and add Citrix as a search provider.

We believe that these features will provide more options for the user to discover their applications without necessarily having to launch Receiver.

Other changes

This release also contains a number of bug fixes that we’ve had fed back to us from our user base via the Android market.

We’ve also made performance improvements around downloading and displaying the application list for an account. This is especially apparent for cached copies of the application list.

As always we welcome your feedback at android@citrix.com and via the Android Market feedback mechanism.