hopTo at Citrix Synergy 2016 – How to touch-enable remote desktop applications
At Citrix Synergy 2016, I had the pleasure to talk to Barry Flanagan, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at hopTo. He explained to me how they can make remote desktop applications touch-friendly on a mobile device.
The technology is pretty exciting. There is an agent on the XenApp server and a client that runs on top of Citrix Receiver. There are three main features that make the hopTo for Work client touch-friendly:
Instead of scrolling through tiny menus, MAX Control brings the most important tasks to the bottom of the screen. So, if you always enter data in an accounting app and then you export them, you could have the “Export” button at the bottom of your screen. Technology-wise, hopTo is working with keyboard shortcuts that they present as buttons.
Max Zoom allows you to zoom into an input field and re-position it to make sure that the upcoming keyboard does not cover it. In addition, you will see input fields with all their options like on local Safari and not only one option that you would see on the non-optimized Windows application.
The local camera can also be accessed to scan QR and barcodes, or do scan documents that should be attached to an application.
You can see, the MAX features really give you a local experience and you do not know anymore that you use a remote app. No coding is required. By the way, MAX stands for Mobile App eXperience and means that they don’t transform apps, but the experience. They bring the desktop experience to a mobile device.
Another example is Internet Explorer. Barry told me that they heard from a customer that they used about 3000 published apps on XenApp based on Internet Explorer. So, hopTo are focusing on MAX IE which means that they mobilise the Internet Explorer experience and bring it to mobile devices.
They can also offer local features like local editing, auto-correct, camera usage, the magnifier, cut&paste, voice editing and make input boxes look like the Safari combo boxes where you can scroll through the options. Really neat!
In addition, with MAX IE, they support apps that require Java, Flash, Silverlight or ActiveX controls.
I asked for a typical app and typical customers. Barry mentioned the example of an electronic medical records app. He explained how the experience is made local.
They do not focus on a specific industry but rather on bringing the right experience to the user. As they are working closely with Citrix, they also concentrate on the top industries that Citrix addresses: Healthcare and Financial Services. Barry added that they are also strong in retail and manufacturing.
As for their future plans, they want to integrate with more features that Citrix offers and also support more browsers than just IE. They are also looking into HTML5 to deliver the hopTo Mobile App eXperience also to other operating systems than iOS like Android, Windows (Surface) and Google Chromebooks.
As the virtual applications are running in the backend, hopTo is also deployable for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) use cases as when the connection is cut, there is no data left on the device.
I had a great time talking with Barry. You can find a recording of the whole interview below.
Have a great day!