Day 4 – Thursday
So lets get mobile on AWS WorkSpaces!
I don’t have an android or apple tablet myself so I had to borrow one from a friend.
An iPad mini. So now I was able to find workspaces on the app store which I couldn’t do on my android phone.
Makes sense though to block it from appearing on mobile phones since we’d all try to use it and complain because its insain to think that you can use Windows 7 desktop on a small screen phone more effeciently than using individual apps that were designed for a small screen.
Maybe this will change in time with future releases such as Windows 9, espeically if they merge Windows Desktop OS and Windows Phone OS’s together.
For mobile devices I can also see WorkSpaces becoming a dream when/if AWS introduce virtual apps like how Citrix XenApp works where you have shortcuts on your mobile device to open your workspaces windows programs directly without having to worry about opening the Windows desktop and then finding and opening the shortcut to open the program. But I can’t see this coming about until 2015 or later.
So the WorkSpaces iPad app was just as easy to setup and use as the windows desktop app, in that it just asked for the reg key and then username and password and I was in. But interesting enough is that AWS have put a bit of effort into the interface, recognising that on a tablet you are going to have most likely a smaller screen and no keyboard. So as soon as you login for the first time a “tips” window appears which has 13 tips on how to use the app. From gestures for bringing up handy keyboard shortcuts, a nice left hand side menu for common tasks, and finger tap and swipe gestures for scrolling, zooming, right mouse click, etc. I have seen similar apps in the app store in the past for rdp and vnc so I’m sure this space is mature enough that AWS was able to copy the best of what is already out there, tried and tested.
I remember when iPad’s first came out our support office where I was working at the time was flooded by calls from clients staff who had gone out and bought an iPad but then discovered that none of the key programs they use at work had an apple app. So we found ourselves creating a document for clients which recommended the best RDP app which we’d tested and could setup their network to allow them to remotely access their work PC. Of course we warned the client that this opened up holes in their network… Many people were also starting to purchase laptops because they were so cheap, so now issues were occuring where the laptop would go to sleep before they had connected on the iPad, or someone else was using their laptop at the same time they wanted to remote into it. So WorkSpaces would have been a great solution to offer to those staff if the business was onboard with it as they would be able to run the legacy business apps from their tablet, work with live information from the office instead of offline cached information which many tablet apps do, and they wouldn’t need to battle with others for remote access as the service is based on the individual not a device hosting it.
I’m taking a flight tomorrow, so we’ll see how well WS stands up in the airport, and if there are any unexpected issues due to things out of my control such as airport firewalls.