Alongside the launch of its hotly-anticipated Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft also released a new remote desktop app for iOS and Android yesterday. The aptly-named Microsoft Remote Desktop app uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a stationary Windows PC from your Android or iOS phone or tablet.
The app doesn’t detect PCs automatically, so you’ll need to know your IP address to get the connection set up. But once you do, you’ll be able to navigate Microsoft’s touch-friendly Windows interface on your mobile device through a native solution. A Windows 8-friendly onscreen keyboard is built in to help you do so. Both apps are available for free in both the App Store and the Google Play store right now.
Microsoft’s made a push to expand its services across Android and iOS devices recently, launching multiplatform apps for SkyDrive, Microsoft Office, Xbox Music and others within the past several months. The fact that Remote Desktop was launched on the same day as Windows 8.1 seems to suggest that this is a trend it plans on continuing.
It’s not clear whether or not the Remote Desktop app works with non-Windows 8 PCs, but we’ve reached out the Microsoft for comment and will update this article accordingly. For now, more details can be found at the source links below.