Microsoft Launches 'Remote Desktop' Apps for Mac and iOS

Thursday October 17, 2013 11:35 AM PDT by Juli Clover
Along with Windows 8.1, Microsoft today launched new Microsoft Remote Desktop apps for iOS and OS X, designed to give users access to a Windows PC via RemoteFX on their Macs, iPhones, and iPads. News of a potential Remote Desktop app for Apple devices first surfaced last week.

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The iOS app offers a secure connection to data and applications through NLA technology along with multi-touch capabilities. It supports high quality video and sound streaming and connects to external monitors or protectors to for presentations. The Mac version also includes the ability to access local Mac files from Windows applications and printer capabilities.

iOS Features:
- Access to remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway
- Rich multi-touch experience with remote desktop protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX supporting Windows gestures
- Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
- Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center
- High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage
- Easy connection to external monitors or projectors for presentations
Mac Features:
- Access to remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway
- Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
- Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center
- High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage
- Easy connection to multiple monitors or projectors for presentations
- Print from Windows applications to any printer configured on your Mac
- Access local files on your Mac from your Windows applications
In addition to Remote Desktop tools for iOS and OS X, Microsoft is said to be developing similar tools for Android and Windows RT. Earlier this month, former Microsoft CEO Steve announced that the company also plans to expand its iOS offerings with an iPad version of Office to be released after the launch of the next major version of its Office suite.

Microsoft Remote Desktop for iOS is a universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac is a free app that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
I will be getting this for the sole purpose of being able to fix my parents computers remotely ever time the call me. This will be immensly simpler than having them tell me what is wrong -- "the thing said something and i pressed the button and now nothing happens, what should I do?"
Rating: 9 Votes
13 months ago
I'll install it... but I hope I never have to use it.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 months ago
Please, for the love of god don't allow direct connections to your PC from the Internet. Anyone who opens port 3389 on their router or firewall is asking for a world of pain.
Rating: 5 Votes
13 months ago
Both versions work for me, the Mac version faster of course. It's still a shame that you can't connect to PCs running Windows 7 Home Premium. Oh well.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
Nice move no more logmein for me!

EDIT: NVM SET UP PROCESS IS A PAIN IN THE BUTT, I YET GOT IT TO WORK!
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
I just installed it and tried it for my iPhone. I'll be sticking with alternatives for RDP. It was not very user friendly.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago
But can you access a Remote Desktop of a Windows PC that's actually served through a Virtual Machine on your Mac? Would love to be able to do this from my iPad to use Windows 8 since it's pretty good for touch based devices.
Rating: 2 Votes
13 months ago

I see nothing here that would draw me away from using TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com), which is free for personal use and works with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Ubuntu, iPhone, iPad, etc. It's very secure and quite simple to set up and use (no messing around with ports), which comes in handy if providing remote support to those who aren't very computer literate. You can talk them through the setup on their end and be connected to them in less than a minute.

I see no advantage at all in using a Microsoft product for this.

It really is a business tool rather than a consumer application especially since RDP is only available on the Pro or higher versions of Windows.

Using this Microsoft app to remote admin servers from a Mac is a lot cheaper than the £439 it would cost for TeamViewer. I've been using CoRD and while it works well it does seem to have stagnated in development.
Rating: 2 Votes
12 months ago

When is Apple going to stop playing around with "Back to My Mac" and finally release an iOS app? COME ON!


This!

The one single reason i've not bought an iPad yet. Want to be able to leave my desktop where it is and take my virtual MacPro around inside my iPad.
Rating: 1 Votes
11 months ago

I see nothing here that would draw me away from using TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com), which is free for personal use and works with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Ubuntu, iPhone, iPad, etc. It's very secure and quite simple to set up and use (no messing around with ports), which comes in handy if providing remote support to those who aren't very computer literate. You can talk them through the setup on their end and be connected to them in less than a minute.

I see no advantage at all in using a Microsoft product for this.


I guess if you don't mind opening your ports up to the world, Team Viewer would be easier to set up. I like having several layers of protection, so I have a 2 firewalls + VPN on the home network that my computer/phone has to get through before I can open an rdp connection to computers at home.

So far I've had good luck with this product. It connects to my Win 7 and Win 2008 Server systems fine...and it's free! I was using Jump on my iPhone, but I'm going to install and try this on it next.

Btw they've fixed all of the display issues in the latest release.

Tbh, I am very surprised that MS even created a Remote Desktop client that runs on the competitor's OS. I guess times are changing :)
Rating: 1 Votes

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