Citrix's Receiver iPad upgrade will give legacy enterprise apps more life

Citrix's upgrade to its Receiver application will support Apple iOS multi-tasking and add functionality that turns the iPad screen into a big mouse track pad.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Citrix's upgrade to its Receiver application, which allows companies to deliver enterprise network apps to smartphones and tablets, will land in January. The latest Citrix Receiver will support Apple iOS multi-tasking and turn the iPad and iPhone screens into a big mouse track pad.

Chris Fleck, vice president of solutions development at Citrix, said the new Receiver app, which has garnered more than 1 million downloads on the iOS and Android platform, will hit Apple's App Store sometime in January and be available for the iPad and iPhone.

What's notable about the Citrix Receiver app is that it is giving life to a lot of legacy enterprise software. For instance, the current version of Receiver touch enables old applications. Citrix set it up so a left swipe on the iPad corresponds with a left arrow key. Ditto for the right swipe and the right arrow key. As a result, users can navigate enterprise apps.

I'm not sure that's such a great thing since there are more than a few legacy apps that should be put to rest. Citrix is giving these tired enterprise apps a few more years of use by dragging them into the mobile world. "

Now Citrix is turning up its game. The latest Receiver will have a mouse pointer that can be navigated with your finger on an iPad screen. "By adding a mouse pointer mode, you can use the whole screen as a track pad and click on smaller features," said Fleck, who noted that the mouse feature was heavily requested from users.

On other topics:

  • Fleck said that it has formed teams for each mobile platform. The teams that create Receiver for the various platforms are largely independent (and even in different locations). For iOS, Citrix needs developers that know Apple and objective C. Android requires Linux and Java experts.
  • Is Citrix hit with competition for developer talent? Fleck said the mobile teams are spread around the world, but he has had a few developers with counter offers. Citrix's iOS work is done in Fort Lauderdale with the Android team in Sydney, Australia. The BlackBerry team is in Bangalore and the Receiver for Windows Phone 7 teams are in the United Kingdom and Fort Lauderdale. This location diversification means Citrix "isn't impacted as much by the Google-Facebook talent war," said Fleck.

Related: Citrix rolls out XenDesktop 5; Bets UI can popularize desktop virtualization

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