Server 2012 R2 RDS and iOS/Android–Part 2

Now that we’ve seen how to quickly get RDS services in place to support RemoteApp published app, let’s get to the meat of the matter and look at how you connect to these apps with an iOS or Android device.

Microsoft has recently released the Remote Desktop Client for iOS and Android.  You download and install the iOS client from the Apple App Store (icon on you iOS device) and from the Google Play Store on your Android device.  Both clients give the same functionality but, of course, look different from one another due to the way iOS and Android function.  So, the following well demonstrate the look and feel of each client.

iOS Remote Desktop Client

All of the following is performed on an iPad 4 using iOS 7.

Here is the app in the App Store:


After installing it appears on the iPad:


Opening it up gives the following:


This is where you can define various types of connections as a “Remote Desktop” is a session connection to a machine desktop (RDP) be it an RDS server, a server admin connection or a Windows desktop that supports RDP access.  “Remote Resources”, on the other hand, define connections for RemoteApp published applications.  There is nothing that says you could not have a “Remote Desktop” connection and a “Remote Resources” connection defined that point at the same RDS server, assuming server policy allows you to make both kinds of connections.

Clicking on “Remote Resources” will start the following process:


There are three pieces of information required in order to make a connection to access the published applications:  the URL (web address) of the RDS server, your domain login and your domain password.  The URL will almost always be in the form of https://servername/RDweb/Feed/Webfeed.aspx as can be seen in the following screenshots:



Now the login and password:




As soon as you click Save the client will attempt to connect to the server and discover the RemoteApp published apps that are available for you to use:


The list of apps is the same as we saw in Part 1 of this post when we logged in to the RDWeb web page.

I’m going to connect to Word:





At this point I can click on the keyboard icon in connection bar at top of my screen and start typing away:


Well, not exactly a Shakespearian sonnet but proof positive that I can work with Word from the iPad!

Closing Word takes me to the following screen:


Tapping the screen where indicated takes me back to my list of published apps.

I won’t get into a discussion here about how the navigation works in the client, that is for another post.  It does take a bit to get used to how the navigation works and it helps if you are familiar with Windows 8 screen gestures as that pretty much translates to how the navigation works.  Once you figure out the navigation there is no reason why you could not use any published app from the RDS server on your iPad.

Android Remote Desktop Client

Same process as the iOS starting with finding the app in the Paly Store,  This is using my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1:




Note how the screen layout differs from that of the iOS client but all the bits and pieces are there.


Clicking on the + sign will give me the set up dialogue:



Still the same URL and, below, same login credentials.


Now I’ll connect:


And this highlights a big difference in the two clients; Android is going to ask me more “security” questions rather like I would get on a PC when dealing with an HTTPS website using a self cert (which is essentially what we are doing in this case).  Clicking on the Manage button gets me here:


I’ll accept the cert by clicking on Trust Always.  System whirls away for a bit then I get my list of published apps.


The layout is a bit different from iOS, more like the webpage we accessed with the PC but all the apps are there.  I’ll fire up Word.


Once again, we have to accept the cert so I click Trust Always.





And let’s see if I can get creative in Word …


No prizes for filling in the next line but you can see that I am using Word on the Android and it looks pretty much the same as it did on the iPad and that is the whole idea.  All previous comments about navigation hold true here, as well.  So, if you are bimodal (iPad in one hand and Android in the other) you should be equally adept on both devices after you learn the navigation on one of them.

Closing Word gives me this:


Tapping the mouse icon (the cross in circle thing) gives me this:


Tapping where indicated closes the connection and takes me back to my list of published apps, just like on the iOS device.

So there you have it! RDS RemoteApp published apps available for your enjoyment on iOS and Android devices, all without any third party software on server or tablets.  Well done, Microsoft!

4 responses to “Server 2012 R2 RDS and iOS/Android–Part 2

    1. Craig: I’m not sure, to be honest. You might want to post this question over on and see what answers you get. There are a lot of resources monitoring the site (MVP’s, Microsoft support staff, Microsoft product group people) so I’m pretty sure you’ll get a response there.

  1. Great article!

    I have an issue though 😉 When I connect my phone to the internal Wifi the Android app works 100%. From the internet it fails with the following in the logs on the IIS ARR server:

    2015-12-16 11:31:20 RPC_IN_DATA /rpc/rpcproxy.dll localhost:3388 443 – MSRPC – 404 0 2 89
    2015-12-16 11:31:20 RPC_OUT_DATA /rpc/rpcproxy.dll localhost:3388 443 – MSRPC – 404 0 64 87

    Any ideas why this happens?

  2. Hi, great article, I implement this solution and works fine but I need more security in the smartphone connection. i implent ssl security eith my fomain CA, and If I access from internet whit one laptop without ca certificate installed I don’t access to the rdsweb only access if the ca certificate is installed.

    But on the smartphone it not need the certificate installed the rd client connects. I need to protect this connection with only connect the smartphones that the ca is installed

    It’s possible

    Many thanks

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