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Citrix Receiver for iPhone: Enterprise Apps Go Mobile

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If you are using Citrix XenApp to distribute applications to Windows machines, you should look at Citrix Receiver for iPhone as a possible way to get them to mobile users

Citrix Receiver for iPhone puts enterprise applications in the hands of mobile workers — sometimes quickly, when the iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, and sometimes slower on cellular links. Performance in eWEEK Labs’ tests was slow on EDGE, and better but not snappy on 3G.

Organisations that already use Citrix XenApp infrastructure to deliver Windows applications should put Citrix Receiver for iPhone at the top of their evaluation list for mobile users.

Citrix Receiver was announced at the Citrix Synergy conference in Las Vegas on May 5 and is available for free from the Apple App Store.

In tests, I used Citrix Receiver on both first- and second-generation iPhone handsets. I used the demonstration platform provided by Citrix, so I can’t comment on the back-end Citrix XenApp setup. Nor can I say what modifications, if any, were made to enable applications to work with the smaller screen and comparatively limited compute power of the iPhone.

Mobile users who need to access enterprise Windows applications in the field without firing up a laptop will appreciate the ease of access provided by Citrix Receiver. The product also works on the Apple iPod Touch.

I accessed a sample design site running on eDrawings that modeled an underwater propulsion system. When I clicked play while connected via Wi-Fi, Citrix Receiver displayed a relatively smooth 3-D rendering. When the drawing was in still mode, I could use familiar iPhone gestures, such as a finger tap, to select various parts of the drawing. The eDrawings application responded almost instantaneously to these gestures.

Using simple on-screen navigation keys, I was able to quickly select a sales forecasting application that displayed information revenue information. I was not able to run applications simultaneously. To move from one application to another, I had to navigate back to the home page and then step my way to the next application I wanted to use.

Citrix Receiver let me access a network monitoring application that displayed dynamic, real-time data. Citrix Receiver did a good job of handling display in either portrait or landscape mode, and data updates appeared on the screen without the need to manually refresh the page.

Conclusion

Citrix Receiver for iPhone puts enterprise applications in the hands of mobile workers without the need to fire up a notebook. The app is available for free from the Apple App Store. Performance of Citrix Receiver in eWEEK Labs’ tests was “good enough” over Wi-Fi.