The PocketCloud app, which was first released in August 2009 for iPhone and iPod Touch devices, will let users access their Windows-based virtual PCs via the iPad. It will also give IT administrators the ability to access their users’ virtual PCs.
The app means that enterprise road warriors or administrators can leave the embedded iPad system format and actually display a running Windows 7 environment on the device’s hardware. This will also give users the ability to run Adobe Inc. Flash-based apps.
“You can pretty much look at your entire desktop in a clean and clear way,” said Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer at San Jose, Calif.-based Wyse. The product is geared toward both IT people and the average business worker, he added.
The app, which costs US$30, was made available for download at the Apple App Store on Friday.
“While Apple has taken this product to the consumer, we’re taking this to the enterprise,” McNaught said.
For IT managers specifically, the ability to use the iPad and reboot VMs from the road or at home could be a huge selling point. “Imagine you’re watching The Tonight Show at midnight and you get a call that your Web server went down,” he said. “How great is it that you can grab an iPad, connect into the infrastructure and fully securely reboot the server? It takes a painful 30-minute task and makes it into a five-minute task.”
In addition to iPad support, Wyse also made several updates to the PocketCloud software.
It rewrote the app’s back-end to allow full-resolution, enabled multi-touch support, revamped the mouse touch pointer, and increased performance speed. PocketCloud’s user interface has also been updated to make it easier for iPad users to edit their Remote Desktop Protocol and VMware View connections.
Wyse’s PocketCloud app will compete against a similar remote access app from Citrix Systems Inc. called Citrix Receiver app, which was also released on Friday. The free Citrix app will allow users to access their work apps in the iPad interface and also gives users the ability to multi-task.
John Sloan, a lead research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., said these apps will basically turn the iPad into an access terminal for IT administrators looking to tap into their centrally hosted virtual desktop infrastructure.
“If you look at (the iPad) from the point of view of a highly portable user access device, then there could be a fit,” he said.
For IT managers or enterprise workers already using PocketCloud or Citrix Receiver for the iPhone, the additional screen real estate will be a huge luxury, he added.
Sloan said medical professionals would probably get the most use out of the app.