Citrix pulls buggy Receiver from iOS app store, screwing new users. Flaw in the app store model?

Citrix just published a blog post announcing that they have pulled the Citrix Receiver app from the iOS app store. A quick search for "Citrix Receiver" from an iPhone confirms this is the case: While I understand that Citrix should pull a buggy version, now every user who doesn't have Receiver already installed is completely screwed!

Citrix just published a blog post announcing that they have pulled the Citrix Receiver app from the iOS app store. A quick search for "Citrix Receiver" from an iPhone confirms this is the case:

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While I understand that Citrix should pull a buggy version, now every user who doesn't have Receiver already installed is completely screwed! Citrix has crammed more and more functionality into their Receiver app (MDX, ShareFile, etc.), and they advertise it to their tens of millions of users, and now no one can get it! Imagine if your CEO gets a new iPad and is on the road and needs to get some data… now what do you do? Yikes!!! This isn't like them pulling a new Windows client from their site while customers can still deploy the old one. This means that no end user anywhere in the world now can get an iOS Citrix client. That's huge!

What's worse though is this exposes a problem with the iOS App Store itself, as Apple doesn't allow any kind of emergency roll back to a previous version. Similar to how there's nothing you can do if Amazon Web Services or Gmail goes down, when you participate in a closed ecosystem like a mobile app store then you're also at the mercy of their approval teams. Hopefully Citrix can convince Apple to approve the prior version of this app ASAP.

As a temporary workaround until the original Citrix Receiver app is fixed, Citrix has suggested that you can install the beta Receiver into iOS. Unfortunately that product is called "R1" and does not have the Citrix name in it anywhere. So if you search for "Citrix" in the iOS app store, it does not show up. Unfortunately you have to know about it on your own and you have to know to search for "R1."

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I'm not sure why Citrix didn't mention this R1 workaround beta in their original post, or why they're not mentioning it via twitter? So even though Apple doesn't allow rollbacks of iOS apps, Citrix needs to step up and communicate the workaround. And how about adding the word "Citrix" to the R1 release so, you know, customers who are getting screwed can currently find it?? Because even though this is a temporary situation, it's a huge impact to their customers now. (And don't get me started on Citrix's Receiver build quality lately...)

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There was a blog post today from Citrix recommending R1 with a direct download link.  Any customer who called in for support was also referred to R1, which is the exact same code as the latest 5.6.3 Receiver.  See post here, blogs.citrix.com/.../update-on-ios-receiver.  


The Apple re-approval and roll back process must be fixed ASAP...


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HTML5 anyone?


This predicament is not the only problem with the app store model. What if you discover that a new version has a problem, but the vendor doesn't pull it? There is no way for you to prevent your users from upgrading. And when Citrix does release a fixed version, how do you get all your users back to it from R1? BTW I assume that R1 doesn't contain the name Citrix in order to avoid confusion.


I want to emphasize that I'm not busting Citrix's chops here. As Brian pointed out, this is an endemic problem with the app store model itself, and is not specific to any vendor.


With web apps that are installed on-premise or on your own cloud servers, you get total control of exactly which version is being used. Rolling forward or back is a snap.


@DanShappir


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@Brian Seems Citrix has updated their blog post and now are now blaming a distribution issue and flat out deny a bug or quality issues. Very curious to understand what the distribution issue is.


BTW, underlines why Receiver as I have said for a long time is a POS that is becoming too big to fail...


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Hi Brian


The Citrix Receiver 5.6.4 for iOS is now available on the AppStore.. Finally ;)


itunes.apple.com/.../id363501921


Regards


Thomas Poppelgaard


www.poppelgaard.com/citrix-receiver-5-6-4-for-ios


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In many ways this is good visibility into why Apple is not an enterprise-ready platform and the MDM/MAM players are an app update away from losing control.


Until Apple buys or builds a "Zenprise", an investment in MDM/MAM is an investment in applying band-aids for a patient suffering from the flu.


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