Yep, SolidSmack is starting to reek of greasy touch-screen bliss. Let’s pummel this iPhone stuff even further into the ground. You remember that eDrawings on iPhone poll last week? The one where over 50% of the people would use it if they could?

Well there’s hope for you and it’s all wrapped up in a tiny little iPhone app called Citrix Receiver. So, here we are, running SolidWorks on a tiny iPhone screen? How could that even be possible? or necessary? or even practical? Here are the messy details.

How they do it
This free iPhone app from Citrix is the first of it’s kind. You may actually be familiar with a couple other their products. Citrix is the company behind GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. If you’ve used those or think of what those applications do, it’s easier to imagine how they’re able to get SolidWorks and other Windows based apps onto the iPhone.

Citrix GoToMyPC is the fast, easy and secure way to access your PC from any Web browser in real time. It’s like taking your office with you wherever you go.”

and..

Citrix Delivery Center optimizes delivery by integrating network optimization with application, desktop and server virtualization to make it easy for users to work productively from anywhere with the best application performance and security regardless of location.”

In other words, you’re using the apps directly off a computer (server) located somewhere else, not on the iPhone itself. Citrix Receiver acts as a portal to use the apps through. However, if you’ve ever used GoToMyPC, it’s not all that bad. Instead of having to reinstalled every program on another computer (or device) you’re running it, as a service, off the computer that already has the apps installed.

These apps can be anything from Microsoft Word to SAP, Photoshop, a 3D modeling program like SolidWorks or even a PDM system. Program virtualization, or Applications as a Service, are particularly nice for small netbook computers that don’t have all the storage to load or processing power to run large applications.

SolidWorks on an iPhone?
So, why would someone want to use SolidWorks or view eDrawings on an iPhone? The screen is small, it’s a touchscreen and… yeah, the screen is freakin’ small. Granted, that is indeed the case, but some who travel a lot, need access to models in the field and just so happen to have an iPhone find the idea of this being quite useful.

Mitchell Ashley of NetworkWorld had a chance to test Citrix Receiver and mentions the following…

Citrix Receiver was surprisingly speedy to launch and very responsive when running apps like Solidworks, and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In addition to running desktop windowed apps, Receiver also supports Silverlight, Flash, and Flex based applications. – PCWorld

If you look at the images above though, it just shows SolidWorks eDrawings, not actually SolidWorks. However, the virtualization would feasibly allow SolidWorks to run through the iPhone as well, just like Microsoft Word, Photoshop or any other Windows application. There’s is a little bit of a catch though. The app is free, but to run Citrix Receiver on the iPhone, you’ll need:

You may be able to use the free standard edition of XenDesktop, but alas, I haven’t the resources to test it out… yep, I don’t have an iPhone.

Never fear, if you are super cool and do have an iPhone, you don’t have to have a virtualized server to try out Citrix Receiver. You can get a demo account and download the app at CitrixCloud.net. So, if you’re interested in using your Windows Apps on your phone, install the app and see what it’s like. It would be great to know what you think.

via PCWorld – Big hat tip to ‘J Ray’ whoever that could be 😉

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.