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My name is David Bélanger, and I’m a program manager on the Remote Desktop team working on Remote Desktop apps. The October update for the Microsoft Remote Desktop Preview app brings a few tweaks to the app and some bug fixes as we continue focusing most of our efforts towards adding support for Microsoft Azure RemoteApp, Remote resources (RemoteApp and Desktop Connections) and Gateway, all due later this year.

Keep the feedback coming on our feature requests site as it will help us ensure we build the right functionality into the app. A link to the site is now available directly inside the app from the About page.

This blog highlights the changes we’ve made to the app which will be available from the Windows Phone Store later today.

Mouse Pointer is now the default input mode for all desktops

Version 8.1.5 of the app is updating the default input mode from Touch to Mouse Pointer when connecting to systems running Windows 8 and later versions of Windows. We are making this change based on the user feedback we’ve received that on small devices like a phone, the Mouse Pointer mode really shines and makes it easier to interact with the session.

With this change, you will get a consistent experience across all your desktops and get access to Pinch and Zoom by default. Note that this only changes the default input mode. Existing desktops will retain their saved input mode and we will continue persisting the input mode for each desktop across connections if you manually change mode following the steps below.

To switch between Mouse Pointer and Touch modes, first click on the Connection Bar at the top (where the display name is shown).

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Figure 1: Connection Bar at the top of the session

And then enable or disable Mouse Pointer mode on the right side.

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Figure 2: Mouse Pointer option available on the right side.

Check out this previous blog post for a list of supported gestures.

SHIFT key is now available

Today’s update brings the SHIFT key to the extended keyboard (displayed above the standard Windows Phone keyboard). Similar to CTRL and ALT, the SHIFT key can be pressed and will remain active until un-pressed or used in a combo (Ex: CTRL + SHIFT + ESC).

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Figure 3: Extended keyboard showing the new SHIFT key

Resume button added to the app bar

We are taking another step towards supporting multiple simultaneous sessions. Now that pressing the back button returns you to the Connection Center without disconnecting the session, we’ve added a new resume button to quickly jump back to the last active session without requiring that you find the right tile for the connection.

The new button can be found in the app bar when you have an active session running. This is also a great way to know at a glance if you have disconnected your session.

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Figure 4: Resume button available in the app bar

Try it now

With new devices coming to market running Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows Phone 8.1 update being deployed to more and more devices, I encourage you to download the Remote Desktop Preview app from the Windows Phone store today and enjoy the rich Windows experience on your Windows Phone 8.1 device.

The Remote Desktop app is also available on your other devices running Windows 8.1, iOS, Mac OS X, and Android.

Stay tuned for future updates as we work on adding Microsoft Azure RemoteApp support and more enterprise-focused features including Remote Desktop Gateway, RD Connection Broker, and Remote Resources (RemoteApp and Desktop Connections) later this year.

Note: Questions and comments are welcome. However, please DO NOT post a request for troubleshooting by using the comment tool at the end of this post. Instead, post a new thread in the Remote Desktop clients forum. Thank you!