Citrix Synergy Barcelona is taking place this week. (Gabe is there, I'm on vacation at home.) So while the news will probably be fast & furious from Barcelona, it's actually VMware who gets the first story of the week. Following their desktop announcements (1, 2) from last week, today VMware released several new mobile clients for View.
VMware recently separated the mobile product release cycles from the release cycles of VIew, claiming that would give them the ability to release the mobile clients much more frequently than the back-end View releases. While that was good in theory, the release of View 5 came and went without any new mobile clients, so in effect this concept worked in reverse. :)
But today's release brings some desperately-needed features to the View clients, as well as some innovative new ones.
View client for iPad
The main new feature in the View client for iPad (now version 1.2) is that VMware finally supports iOS multitasking. This means you can switch away from your View iPad app to another iPad app, and then when you come back, your desktop is still connected. This was the single most annoying feature (or lack thereof) that prevented me from using the View client in a completely natural way.
Second, VMware built support for an RSA soft token into the View client itself. So if you use two-factor authentication, you don't have to switch out of the View app to go to the RSA Soft Token app, or (even worse), you don't have to carry around a keychain token with you.
The third new feature which is pretty cool is that the new View client for iPad can use Apple's "AirPlay" feature to connect to a large TV-sized display wirelessly. The old View client supported using an external display, but you had to use a VGA or HDMI adapter with a physical cable to connect to the display. But if you have an Apple TV (which is essentially a $99 Apple thin client) connected to your TV, then you can use your TV as your desktop display driven wirelessly from your iPad. Neat! (Although now that you can do this, and given that the View client for iPad already supported bluetooth keyboards and mice, I wonder if it's time for VMware to also support the iPhone as a View client? Today it's iPad-only.)
Finally, the View client for iPad has a new mode of operating where the keyboard and trackpad grow to become full size when you're using an external display:
Android client is now officially supported too
In other news, VMware released a supported version of the Android View client that's been in tech preview mode for a few months. The Android client is for honeycomb-based tablets, again with VMware focusing on that form factor and not mobile phones. (Although there has been talk of people getting the Android client to run on Gingerbread phones.)
So that's a quick Monday kick-off of the week. Enjoy the new clients and we'll be back with news from Barcelona soon.