Hi! I am Divya Bhagavan, software development engineer in test on the Remote Desktop Virtualization (RDV) team. Our team is responsible for developing Microsoft RemoteFX in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 release and the RemoteDesktop Windows Store app.
In this blog post, I’ll go through in detail how to achieve some of the common activities performed while in a remote session by using the app commands, and will also teach you how to get the touch keyboard up and running to use in the remote session.
Please note that when connected to the remote session in full screen, all keys and key combinations (except the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination and mouse/touch edge gestures) go to the remote desktop session instead of the local desktop session.
In this section, we’ll cover the following common activities:
You can open the app commands of the Remote Desktop app by using keyboard, touch, or mouse input interactions. When using the keyboard, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Home in the remote session in the full screen view.
Alternatively, when using the mouse, you can click the connection bar on the top of the remote session screen to invoke the app commands.
On touch-enabled computers, a tap on the connection bar or a top-down edge swipe on the connection bar invokes the app commands.
In the top pane, session tiles are identifiable by server names on the tiles.
In the bottom pane, the buttons represent “Local actions” and “Remote actions.”
Home: Takes you back to the Remote Desktop app’s home screen.
Connection: Displays the connection quality (Excellent/Good/Poor) of the remote session.
The number of network bars in the Connection icon varies according to the quality of the remote connection.
How to translate RTT/Latency range to bars
How to translate bandwidth range to bars
The number of bars shown is the minimum of the bars shown against the ranges.
Additionally the dialog box also shows the UDP on/off status. In the following screenshot, the quality of the remote connection is “excellent” and UDP is enabled. (For more information about UDP, see the RemoteFX for WAN blog post.)
Touch pointer: Very useful on touch enabled PCs. When this button is on, the whole desktop area acts like a track pad and enables easy mouse pointer interaction on hard-to-reach UI elements. Details on this will be covered in future blog posts.
Zoom: The remote session view can be zoomed in for better viewing. Details on this will be covered in future blog posts.
Start: Takes you to the start screen of the remote session.
Switch apps: Allows you to switch between the Windows apps open in the remote session.
Snap: Snaps the current application in the remote session.
App commands: If a Windows Store app is opened in the remote session, this button opens the app commands of that app.
Charms: Opens the charms of the remote session.
Open the app commands, and when the panes appear, press the Windows key to get to the local start screen.
Alternatively, you can simply click in the bottom-left corner.
Alternatively, on touch enabled computers, you can also swipe from the right to invoke local charms, and then tap on Start to get to the local computer’s Start screen.
While in the full screen view of the remote session, pressing the Windows key takes you to the remote session Start screen as all keys go remote.
However, when the view is in filled mode as shown in the following screenshot, you can open the app commands of the remote session and tap or click the Start app command to get to the Start screen of the remote session.
When in the full screen view of the remote session, press Alt+Tab to cycle through the opened applications. To cycle through remote Windows Store apps, use Windows+Tab. Also, you can open the app commands of the Remote Desktop app and then tap or click Switch apps to switch to any opened Windows app. This is also the way to switch apps when the remote desktop is in filled mode.
While you are in the remote session in full screen, open the app commands and click Charms.
Alternatively, since all the keys go remote when in the remote session full screen, pressing Windows+C opens the charms bar of the remote session.
While you are in the remote session in full screen, the right edge touch swipe gesture invokes the local charms.
Alternatively, you can also hover the mouse on the upper-right corner of the screen to get the local charms.
Open the app bars by clicking the Connection bar, and then tap App commands in the bottom app bar pane. This opens the app bar of the Windows app running in the remote session (for example, the Weather app).
The easiest way to invoke the touch keyboard for use in the remote session is to invoke the local touch keyboard. Simply hover the mouse in the upper-right corner of the screen or do a right-edge swipe to invoke the local charms. Click Settings and then click the keyboard icon that appears to invoke the local touch keyboard.
To invoke the touch keyboard of the remote session:
In the case where you might have additional languages and IMEs (Input Method Editors) in the remote computer, you might want to use the remote sessions touch keyboard.
If you are accessing a Windows 8 client from a touch computer remotely, look for the Touch Keyboard icon in the taskbar of the remote desktop session.
If you are accessing a computer running Windows Server remotely, in order to see the Touch Keyboard icon on the taskbar, a Desktop Experience role needs to be installed on the server computer. To enable Desktop Experience, start Server Manager and then select the Features node from the left pane of Server Manager. In the Features pane, click Add Features, which will display the following Select Features dialog box. In the Select Features dialog box, select the Desktop Experience node and then click Install. After installing the feature, you'll be asked to restart your computer.
An alternative way to invoke the remote touch keyboard is to open the app commands of the Remote Desktop app, and then click Charms to invoke the charms of the remote session. To invoke the touch keyboard, click Settings and then click the keyboard icon.
The remote session experience and interaction is easy and convenient, just as you would interact within a local session. We hope you will enjoy the RemoteFX in-session experience. Install the free Remote Desktop app from the Windows Store and try these features out today.
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 RDS and TS forum at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverTS/threads. Thank you!
neat stuff. didn't know they had an store app for remote desk-topping.
Im curious. Will this replace the traditional Remote Desktop functionality that is part of Desktop Mode, or will we have both Desktop Mode's Remote Desktop feature AND the Modern UI-style version to choose from?
If it's the latter, which version will be more suited for which kinds of tasks?
Please await for further blog posts. We have plans to cover this topic.
Really??! 4 touches to invoke a keyboard? Come on guys
Yes they keyboard experience is horrible. please update this app to include an on-screen keyboard accessible with only 2 taps or less.
Keyboard options stink. PocketCloud is 10x the app this junk is and it works on iOS better than Win8 does with its native app. Try again.
hi, i also find it very difficult to get the keyboard on the screen. would be easier if a link to the keyboard app would be within the bottom local actions pane.
Agree 100%. How could they have left off a keyboard shortcut from the local actions pane. Every other developer has got this right except for Microsoft in their very own app!
Yes and what about right click mouse support
How is the IOS and Android app better then the Microsoft App???? No wonder RT has been such a bomb