Remote Desktop App 8.1.2 Preview for Windows Phone 8.1 Released
Microsoft released a new "preview" test version of its Remote Desktop App for Windows Phone 8.1 last week.
Version 8.1.2 of the Remote Desktop App preview for Windows Phone 8.1 arrives with a few minor enhancements. It's now easier to find the short name of the PC that the user is trying to connect with. Another improvement in version 8.1.2 is the ability for the app to perform NetBIOS name resolution, in addition to the usual Domain Name Server lookup. Lastly, Microsoft made it easier for Windows Phone 8.1 users to access the screen-based keyboard when tapping into a text field. The screen keyboard now automatically shows up and will scale to fit various device sizes, according to Microsoft's announcement.
Microsoft's Remote Desktop App is a downloadable application that allows the client device to connect with a remote PC. It typically might be used to connect a Windows Phone 8.1 device with a work PC, or to connect with multiple remote desktops.
This latest preview comes close on the heels of version 8.1.1, which Microsoft released last month. Unfortunately, version 8.1.2 still doesn't contain enterprise and management functionality that's associated with three yet-to-come Remote Desktop improvements.
For instance, the new preview still lacks support for Remote Desktop Gateway, which enables encrypted transport. There's no support for the Remote Desktop Connection Broker, which is used to establish session-based connections. Also, there's no support for RemoteApp, which is a special kind of configuration that lets Remote Desktop Apps appear as if they were typical installed apps on a device. There's a technical difference between accessing full desktops remotely via Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services Protocol and using RemoteApp, including varying bandwidth, according to Microsoft.
Those three enterprise-level Remote Desktop improvements will be added sometime "later this year" to the Windows Phone 8.1 app, Microsoft has promised.
In addition to the new preview, Microsoft also announced last week that it is seeking feedback on which features to add next to its Remote Desktop App release. So far, the top suggestions include the ability to synchronize connections to OneDrive, the ability to connect from anywhere (even from behind a router) and the ability to change the device's screen resolution before establishing a remote connection.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.