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Citrix on iPhone connected to external monitor: Does it work?


Jonathan Schulz

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Dear Citrix community,

 

we are a public organization and employ a lot of external staff. In the future, these will be equipped with iPhones. But sometimes - for example to write a report - the employees should also be able to work at a stationary workstation. 

If possible, no extra workstation should be purchased, but the iPhone should be used as a desktop replacement. That's our challenge.

 

We know from the iPad that you can make a desktop replacement out of it. But what about the iPhone? 
Since iOS 13, support for the monitor, mouse and keyboard has been available for the iPhone. So the iPhone should also be able to work with a docking station and with an external monitor?

The goal is that external employees can put their iPhones into a docking station, start Citrix Workspace and work on the monitor with mouse and keyboard. That should work, shouldn't it?

 

I would be happy to get an answer before tax money is invested here in the public sector. Thanks a lot.

 

Jonathan

 

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Yes, this works today ( and has for years ). You only need a lightning to HDMI adapter and a BT Keyboard and Mouse. In the past you needed an X1 mouse, but with the new iOS release any standard BT mouse will work. Another option is to use the Citrix Workspace Hub as a docking station so it can operate as a thin client on its own, or as dock with a mobile + Citrix Casting. 

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7 hours ago, Jonathan Schulz said:

Hello again,

I learned from a colleague that, for such a deployment, the cloud services from Citrix are needed. 
The use of externally / not on-premise hosted cloud solutions is not allowed in our organization, so the intended setup seems to be not possible. 

Assuming that this is the case, we will unfortunately not be able to implement the planned solution. 

However, I am sure that others with the same or similar question will be glad to find an answer here in this thread.

 

Whether using cloud or on-premise store, support for external monitor is same. Support is same also for X1 Mouse and Citrix Casting.

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Hello Chris, thanks a lot for your clear answer.
If I understand correctly, there should be only one downside when using an iPhone with Citrix, instead of an iPad:
The iPhone doesn't resize/adjust to the resolution of an external display, but simply casts its own screen 1:1 to the monitor. As the current iPhone gen has a 19,5:9 aspect ratio (landscape mode) - compared to the 16:9 of standard monitors -, the displayed picture will have minor black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. 

 

If you can think of any other drawbacks to Citrix on the iPad, please let me know. 
Best Regards, Jonathan

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Hello again,

I learned from a colleague that, for such a deployment, the cloud services from Citrix are needed. 
The use of externally / not on-premise hosted cloud solutions is not allowed in our organization, so the intended setup seems to be not possible. 

Assuming that this is the case, we will unfortunately not be able to implement the planned solution. 

However, I am sure that others with the same or similar question will be glad to find an answer here in this thread.

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Addendum: A test with iPads has shown that the Citrix Workspace app works, even though cloud services are prohibited in the company structure. To do this, in the Workspace app the connection method has to be set to HTML5. 

We will have test run this week with an iPhone SE 2020, Bluetooth keyboard + mouse (+ a Citrix mouse just in case), and an external display.

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Here's the update after a first attempt at the test setup:

  • Installation of Citrix Workspace App on the iPhone (SE 2020 / iOS 14) is quickly done
  • A bluetooth keyboard is being recognized by iOS 14 and works instantly Citrix Workspace App
  • A bluetooth mouse is being recognized by iOS 14, but only if "AssistiveTouch" is enable in iOS settings. The downside: There is no real mouse pointer, but a simulated finger displayed as a big dot which can be moved around with the mouse. Even worse, the bluetooth mouse does not work with Citrix on the external display.
  • A Citrix mouse (X1) for about 40 € net works flawlessly in Citrix Workspace app, and offers full functionality with Citrix sessions even on the external display
  • Result so far: The Citrix session will start up fine in full-screen on the external display, just like it would on any other device :91_thumbsup:

However, there are some significant problems for which a solution is required:

  • Citrix Workspace App recognizes the extern display's native solution (in this case 1080p), and automatically uses this as its standard setting. 
    This would do no harm at all, if it wasn't for the malfunction of the Citrix mouse in 1080p: The displayed mouse cursor position, and the position of the mouse once one makes an active input (= click of mouse button) are not the same. Instead, there is a gap between those two positions, making the mouse basically unfunctional. (One even cannot hit the Windows Start button...)
  • However, the mouse pointer position + mouse "clicking position" work absolutely fine if one doesn't use the automatically recognized resolution of the external display (1080p), but sticks to one of the pre-set resolutions Citrix Workspace App offers in its menu. The largest resolution available there is 1280x720, which still works okay for basic Windows/Office use, but causes blurry lines and text. 
  • Besides this problem with the Citrix mouse + display resolution, the bluetooth keyboard doesn't seem to have all keys available for input in a Citrix session. For example, the Windows function key (for the Start menu) doesn't work, and other keys and shortcuts (such as Alt-tab) don't work as well. So far, I didn't figure out a way to enable full functionality of all physical keys of the keyboard.

See the attached pictures to get an impression of what works, and what doesn't. 

 

The remaining questions is: Do you have any idea how to solve the problem with the Citrix mouse in 1080p, and how to enable full functionality of the keyboard? 


 

#0 - Citrix Workspace App working fine.jpg

#1 - display settings.png

#2 - mouse at wrong position.jpg

#3 - mouse at wrong position.jpg

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On 9/28/2020 at 6:32 PM, Chris Pavlou said:

Hi Jonathan, thank you for the tests and all the details. I have forwarded this internally. If you can also submit a support ticket and reference your post here, that will also help as it will tie the issue with you as the customer.

 

Hi Chris, thanks for the response and for forwarding this issue/bug report internally. Today, I had enabled debug-mode in Citrix Workspace app & created a log file documenting the bug with Citrix X1 mouse in 1080p @ external display. I can send it over to your colleagues at support/engineering, if required. Thanks for your efforts. 

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On 10/7/2020 at 2:49 AM, Jonathan Schulz said:

Good morning Chris,

I hope you’re doing fine. Do you have any news regarding the the bug with Citrix X1 mouse in 1080p @ external display?

Thanks & Best Regards, Jonathan

 

Hi Jonathan, the team is actively looking into this issue. Thank you for your testing, we'll let you know if additional logs are needed.

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