Citrix Receiver for PlayBook: Virtualization on BlackBerry Tablet
BlackBerry-maker RIM has released a free, beta version of the Citrix Receiver enterprise virtualization software for the PlayBook tablet. Organizations that use Citrix to host applications can now security check Citrix-based e-mail, view documents and access various other hosted apps via RIM's tablet PC.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Research In Motion (RIM) just let me know that it has released a beta version of the Citrix Receiver for BlackBerry PlayBook software, which lets companies that employ Citrix to host applications and services, securely access those apps from RIM’s tablet.
For example, Citrix Receiver for PlayBook users can check Citrix-hosted email, view documents and files, monitor project dashboards, approve expenses and more, all via BlackBerry tablet, according to RIM. The new Citrix Receiver tablet app also lets users access virtualized Windows desktops on the go. No information is ever stored on the PlayBook itself, so potentially sensitive data remains secure on hosting providers’ servers.
And because Citrix Receiver is now available for a number of desktop, tablet and PC operating systems, users can seamless access their Citrix-hosted apps and services regardless of the mobile device they employ, RIM says. (Citrix Receiver is also available for Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome OS, the BlackBerry handheld OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Symbian.)
The Citrix Receiver for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet provides the functionality to multitask between virtualized applications and desktops, as well as between multiple desktops themselves – all from within the app. From a user perspective, this is similar to the multi-tab browsing experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook browser. Users will be able to work like they do on a desktop or laptop with multiple applications running simultaneously, but do so remotely from the BlackBerry tablet.
2. Single “Sign On” Access
When accessing Windows, web and SaaS apps, users won’t need to login multiple times to gain access. Instead, there’s a single “sign on” access point during the launch of the app that provides full access to virtual apps and desktops.
3. IT-Controlled Built In Enterprise App Hosting
When implemented, the IT department can host an app server (such as Citrix XenApp) and allow end users to select apps to use via the Citrix Receiver from this server; much like they would select apps from the BlackBerry App World. This self-service access to enterprise apps gives users even more flexibility when working with the Citrix Receiver.
Does your staff often use a “hoteling” station or home office? If so, it’s simple to pair a PlayBook with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and connect an HD monitor via HDMI cable, and they’ll have full access to your remote desktop and apps. When it’s time to leave, the peripherals stay behind while the PlayBook slips into a coat pocket or purse. This gives your mobile workforce improved portability, boot-up time, and battery life compared with a laptop-based solution – with minimal compromise on functionality.
The software is available in all countries except for Israel, and it requires BlackBerry Tablet OS v1.0.7 or higher. Citrix Receiver for PlayBook is still in beta, however, so users shouldn’t be too surprised if they find a few bugs when testing it out. And interested PlayBook users may want check in with their IT helpdesks for details on getting the app up and running on their tablets.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.