Microsoft updates remote desktop apps for iOS, Android and Mac OS X

Summary:Microsoft has updated with new features and fixes its Remote Desktop apps for iOS, Android and Mac OS X just about a month after releasing them.

Just about a month ago, Microsoft rolled out Remote Desktop apps for iOS, Android and Mac OS X . On November 21, the company made available updates to all three versions.


Microsoft execs said that there've been 1.5 million downloads of the three new Remote Desktop apps combined in the past month. According to the Softies, the remote desktop app for Android is Microsoft's most popular Android app release to date. Execs said there have been more than 5,000 unique Android device types that have downloaded the app.

What's in the updates? Here's Microsoft's list of features and fixes:


  • Pinch to zoom support in mouse pointer mode
  • Performance improvements
  • iPhone 5 screen resolution fix


  • Pinch to zoom support in mouse pointer mode
  • Performance improvements
  • Improved support for stylus input

Mac OS X

  • Improved full screen support for OS X 10.7 - 10.9
  • Performance improvements

Download links for each of the three updates are available in Microsoft's Server & Cloud blog post.

Microsoft's multi-platform Remote Desktop apps -- which include an overhauled version of the two-year-old Mac Remote Desktop client -- provide access to virtual desktops. They allow users to connect from devices running these operating systems to Windows and Windows Servers to work with applications and files stored there. There are also versions of Remote Desktop for Windows and Windows RT. Microsoft execs have said there will be remote desktop support for Windows Phone, but no details as to when.

Remote Desktop has been one of the most popular Windows Store apps among Windows 8 and Windows RT users. The licensing requirements for these apps are complex. Client-access licenses and supporting back-end infrastructure are required to make Remote Desktop work on Windows and non-Windows devices.

Topics: Virtualization, iOS, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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