Thursday, 30 March 2017 09:23

Samsung DeX – secret Citrix sauce

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Citrix has revealed that it and Samsung collaborated to create Samsung DeX, a dock for the Galaxy S8 and an application that, when combined with Citrix Receiver, converts the smartphone into a fully-functioning virtual desktop with secure access to digital workspaces.

This answers many questions – was DeX a type of Continuum, did it use the Snapdragon 835/Win32 support, was it a version of Samsung Flow, did it run Windows or Android apps on screen, or was it something written from the ground up that may, or may not, give an optimum smartphone/dock/desktop experience?

Business users may well be relieved to see it is based on Citrix, one of the more bullet-proof virtual desktop, app and remote access platforms.

Injong Rhee, chief technology officer of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, said, “The Samsung DeX lets people use their Galaxy S8 like a desktop computer, using solutions including Citrix Receiver, XenApp, and XenDesktop as our preferred technologies to enable customers to securely access and use their Windows and browser-based applications, just as they would with a traditional laptop. This is not science fiction, this is true, business-driven innovation.”

The DeX app also includes an optimised UI for multi-tasking, a desktop environment with keyboard and mouse support, resizable window capabilities, a taskbar, pop-up notifications and more. Currently, Microsoft’s Continuum only allows a single full-screen app to run on an external monitor.

In addition to the preferred solution that combines Citrix innovation with Samsung DeX, Citrix also offers support and integration for Samsung devices that include XenMobile enterprise mobility management, security features and secure virtual access to apps and desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop, and support for Secure Apps with Samsung Knox at the native Android OS layer.

Citrix XenMobile also supports new Samsung capability known as Enterprise Firmware-Over-The-Air (E-FOTA). Samsung E-FOTA enables IT admins to take greater control over when devices get updated, as well as what version is updated. This Samsung capability provides IT with native device control without sacrificing user flexibility.

“While many people use their smartphones for business, they usually turn to a laptop or desktop when they need to use Windows or browser-based apps," said Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst, Lopez Research. "Even though VDI or app virtualisation lets them run Windows applications on their smartphone, the Windows experience does not always translate well to a small touchscreen. To address this issue, vendors have worked to develop solutions that make it easier to connect smartphones to a keyboard, mouse and a monitor. The solution that succeeds has significant market potential.”

Now that it is known that the dock is simply USB-C hardware-based to deliver 2x USB-A 3.0, HDMI, and fast pass-through charging, it may explain why Citrix is using the term “preferred technologies” as it leaves the way open for other apps and technologies to do other things – like cast Android apps to the screen and more. At present Microsoft, VMWare and Amazon Web Services are reportedly working on DeX apps.

Samsung dex

S8 Dex

 


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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