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

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, Android, iOS, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • have they finally brought TS Gateway support to the Mac?

    I've been using iTap instead of Microsoft RDP, because of the poor protocol support in the Microsoft Mac RDP client.
    • TS Gateway

      Yes, TS Gateway is support and since it was released I had no issues.
  • Never!

    I will never allow any Microsoft app or IIP onto my iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, Mac mini, Apple TV or iPod. Yes, sometimes I have to search and delete stuff that may be preloaded but it's not needed so I ditch it.

    Microsoft seriously lost some big time money since I stopped purchasing anything from Microsoft back in 1998. After 18 years of supporting Microsoft their horrid actions and history of lying, copying and stealing forced my move to Apple. It's been 15 years with Apple so far and I can sleep at night knowing I am not supporting that horrid monster called Microsoft.
    • You rate yourself that highly?

      You say that MS "seriously lost some big time money". Wow, you must be the size of a major corporation to be able to make a statement like that (or a troll).

      I seriously doubt Microsoft lost any sleep at all over you leaving the ecosystem.

      "Leaping from the fat to the fire comes to mind" when saying that you're with Apple - they're hardly saints (no-one is) so don't fool yourself that they've not acted dishonestly any number of times. At least Bill Gates is being philanthropic with the profits made from MS. Steve Jobs, whilst sometimes generous (albeit rather quiet with his donations) was often a hard nasty individual who ran Apple like a personal dictatorship.
      Lost In Clouds of Data
      • You really are lost in the clouds...

        Microsoft makes their money on anyone they can convince to purchase their wares. Perhaps that was their first mistake to think that only those that spend 50K per year or more count.

        I do know I am not alone and the fact that MS lost any evangelizing power from folks like me hurt even more. So sure, feel free to diminish the power of folks like me. Stockholders will note that MS share price has been non-moving pretty much from the time I jettisoned that companies products, so, Lost - you and Microsoft are lost.
        • isnt that pretty every company? even yours if you have one...

          "Microsoft makes their money on anyone they can convince to purchase their wares."

          Sorry but I don't get your point at all. You criticize a company for trying to make money by selling there products?
          • except...

            ...that other companies must offer something in order to get cash, but all the microsoft offers is monopoly, bloat, viruses and NSA
    • Then why do you post here? Because nobody else will listen to you.

      And as for MS losing "big time money", that never happened since you never purchased for enterprise of businesses on the level that would get you noticed, or even be considered big time money

      Also people really don't care what you phony little wannabe's use, or don't use.

      I am glad you bought all that Apple stuff, though - Ever since I quit buying their products years ago, they just keep calling and calling me to get me back, since they lost big time money.

      I guess they stopped after you picked up those lost sales with your patronage.
      • must really enjoy that feeling in your arse...

        or maybe Bill and Steve do since your head is so far up there.
        • I do enjoy that feeling I get

          when I know you trolls realize we're onto you. :)
          • ya

            Glad to see u agree yr a MS troll. U do not support other company solutions except MS
      • oh look microsoft troll barks again...

        ...and no one really cares
      • Re: since you never purchased ...

        Hehe, come on Willie. Do you really believe all that? Why are you discounting everyone who does not purchase anything Microsoft?

        I wonder, if Microsoft are not interested in my business, why do they hunt me over and over again, offering all kinds of "incentives" even when I clearly demonstrate to them there is nothing they could sell me?

        Funny enough, Apple has never, ever done any of this (including bribing), yet there are products that Apple has which have me interested.

        For large scale business deployment, that is.

        Of course, for my core business I don't use either company's products. Maybe, one day, when they grow up...
    • Boo-hoo.

      And we care because... ?
      Hallowed are the Ori
    • '18 years of supporting Microsoft'

      please share your epiphany.

      no, really.

      back about 1985 i sent a letter to Microsoft detailing an error in BASCOM. never heard back from 'em. perhaps it was lack of funds, since you were gonna stop buying from them in another 13 years.

      thanks a lot! that explains everything!
    • you're an idiot

      Just sayin....
    • you know...

      You no use windows? why you post on windows specific article? This isn't religion, they're just companies providing a product, you no like, you no buy. I no like modern cars, I no buy modern cars. EzPz. I certainly wouldn't venture over to a car forum and waist my time rambling about how I no like product I no buy... I no like mac, I no buy mac, I no spend time on forum posting about how I no like mac.

      Seriously, you're being emotionally effected by a piece of software. Get some priorities.
      • Not to get picky

        But this isn't a windows article. It's about a Microsoft product for osx , ios, and android.
        Sam Wagner
  • I just don't understand why, really

    There's Remote Desktop app for every platform, but Windows Phone 8.

    Why? What's the reason behind it? Can Mary J. elaborate on that, inquire Microsoft? Me, as a technical guy, would very much like the ability to connect to Company VPN and fix infrastructure incidents, or connect to my workplace desktop while on the go. But I can't do it without going to 3rd party app of unknown security.
  • this is no news at all...

    ...nobody uses that crapware so called operating system