Manual

Getting started

Prepare your Windows PC

RDP is an integrated feature of Microsoft Windows (except home editions, see details). On all non-server editions RDP has to be enabled before it can be used. To do so, please follow the guides for your installed version of Microsoft Windows. On our webpage we offer a high-level set-up guide for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Important: Please ensure that your Windows user is set-up with a password. RDP does not allow connections for users with no password.

Getting to know the Connection Center

After starting iTap mobile RDP the connection center opens. From here you can:

  • Manage and search for bookmarks.
  • Connect to a Windows PC or server through manually entered bookmarks.
  • Modify global settings.

NOTE: The navigation of iTap mobile RDP is the same on the iPhone/iPod touch and the iPad except for the way you are starting a session. The additional space on the iPad allows to display a preview with details of a selected bookmark. In order to open an RDP session tap the connect button on the right part of the screen. On the iPhone/iPod touch just tap the respective bookmark.

Manage Bookmarks

What is a Bookmark

A bookmark summarizes all the settings for the entity you want to connect to.

In the clean bookmark list you will just find "iTap RDP Testserver" as initial bookmark setup. Generally each bookmark shows the following information:

The test status informs you about the health of the connection to your computer or server. The connection test is enabled by default and can be disabled within the bookmark settings. shows that everything is ok, while will appear if there is a connection issue. If you open the bookmark details, an error description and link to a help wizard will appear. will appear if network testing is disabled for this host.

If the connection test succeeds then a small icon below it will show the security level of the connection. The number of dots indicates the security strength. One dot indicates basic security (up to 140 bit FIPS compliant but with no host verification), while 2 dots indicate TLS (strong security with host verification via certificates), and 3 dots indicate NLA (Network Level Authentication), which is the highest supported security method of RDP.

The black text shows the label of the bookmark, which defaults to the computer name, but can be changed to any text. Directly below it, the bookmark will show the credentials, which will be used for automatic reconnect. If no credentials are shown, a logon screen will appear when trying to connect.

With a tap on this icon you can change the settings of your bookmark, which will be explained later.

Create/Edit a Bookmark

There are two ways to add a bookmark manually. Either tap "Add Manual Bookmark" where a new dialog opens to change bookmark settings or add it via the searchbar.

Type the host information into the search bar and tap the search button on the on-screen keyboard to add a new entry to the search results. Next edit the bookmark settings and save them to add it to your bookmark list.

In order to edit an existing bookmark tap this icon to reach the bookmark settings. They are divided into three sections:

The last option offers to modify the screen, connection, user interface and performance settings.

Host settings

The host settings are essential to establish an RDP connection as they specify the computer you want to connect to.

  • Label: The name of the bookmark in the connection center. This can by any string. If this is empty, the hostname will be displayed as label.
  • Host: The name of the computer you want to connect to. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name or an IP address.
  • Port: The port to connect to. The default port for RDP is 3389. We recommend not to change this setting.
  • Use System Proxy: Enable system wide proxy server (only when configured within the device settings).
  • Gateway: An optional gateway server to use. This is optional, and your server must support this. You can create entries for this list in the global settings (see below).

Below these settings you see the connection status again. indicates that the connection works, while indicates a problem. In the latter case a short help text will appear and you can click to go to a wizard, which will help you setup your connection.

Credentials

The credential section determines the username and password used to connect.

  • Credentials: This shows the currently active credentials. When clicked you can edit or clear them. Furthermore the credential screen displays all known accounts.
  • Store Credentials: If this is on (default), the logon screen will store passwords when connecting for later reuse. If this is off the password is not stored on the device. Please note that NLA requires you to store credentials if you want to use automatic reconnect.

Compared to the previous version the credential screen has been modified slightly. In the lower section the credentials are summarized now in two different lists.

  • Other Accounts on this server: displays all user accounts on this specific server where a stored password is available.
  • Other known Accounts: displays all user accounts, which have been used in any of the entered bookmarks.

Screen Settings

The screen settings allow you to change the screen resolution and color depth of your RDP session. You can choose one of a list of predefined resolutions, or enter a custom resolution of up to 4096x2048 pixels.

Bigger screens need more memory, so it is recommended that you use smaller resolutions. Especially on iPhone and iPhone 3G devices, the amount of memory available is usually very limited. For a good compromise between available screen space and usability, it is recommended that you use either the "Landscape" or "Portrait" resolutions, depending on how you want to hold your iPhone.

You have four options for color depth. It is recommended to use "Thousands" of colors, as a compromise between bandwidth and quality.

Advanced Settings: Connection

You can change the following advanced connection settings:

  • Console: Connect to the console session (for Windows Server 2003 and later).
  • Sound: Choose how to play sound. You can play it on your device (the default), on the server, or not at all.
  • Performance: Change various performance and quality options (see below).
  • Keyboard: Choose the mode for the keyboard. It is strongly recommended to keep this on "Automatic", but you may try the other settings if you have problems with keys not working, or keys inserting the wrong characters.
  • Security Level: Limits the maximum security level. You should always set this to the maximum available (NLA), unless you know what you are doing.
  • Enable 3G Mode: Enable or disable 3G Mode
    • 3G Screen: Per default this is the same as the normal screen resolution, but with 256 colors. We recommend to keep them low for 3G networks.
    • 3G Performance: The options here are the same as under "Performance" but disabled by default to save bandwidth.
  • Automatic Reconnect: With this feature you can return to known sessions automatically (to the exact place you left), without having to re-enter your credentials. Please note, that the automatic reconnect feature is controlled by the server. Therefore it is not possible to guarantee that it works 100% of the time.
  • Remote Program: This functionality is only available on Windows Terminal Server editions. Set a program to execute when you log on to a remote computer. You must specify the full path. When you specify a remote program you will not see a normal desktop, instead the remote program will be launched fullscreen.

Advanced Settings: User Interface

You can change the following advanced UI settings:

  • Border: Add a border around the desktop. Use this if you have problems clicking on things at the very edge of the desktop.
  • Status Bar: If this is on, the status bar will not be hidden during a session, allowing you to check your network connectivity.
  • Utility Bar: Set the initial status of the utility bar. If you cannot use three finger gestures, set this to "Initially On".
  • Mouse Mode: Set the mouse mode to use for this bookmark.
  • Swap Mouse Buttons: Whenever a mouse gesture would send a command with the left mouse button, it sends the same command with the right mouse button instead. This is needed for some left handed mice in Windows.
  • Sticky Modifiers: Modifiers (like Alt, Ctrl, ...) will be sticky when this is turned on. This means that they will not turn off automatically after the first key used together with the modifier. Tap the modifier again to turn it off manually. The default is for modifiers to be not sticky.
  • Reduce Lag (at cost of throughput): If you are watching videos using a RemoteFX connection, then you might experience input lag if your connection speed is low. Activating this setting will eliminate this lag, but at the cost of performance.
  • Connection Tests: Turn off connection testing for this bookmark. The connection will still work as normal, but the status icon will always be a grey question mark.

Performance settings

The performance settings are part of the advanced settings

  • Wallpaper: If enabled, a wallpaper is allowed on the remote computer, if off then a wallpaper is never shown. A wallpaper can help prevent getting lost on a big desktop, but uses more bandwidth than a single color background.
  • Window Drag: If enabled, the window contents are drawn while moving or resizing a window, if off then only a frame is shown. On a small screen, the contents of the moving window can obscure where it is moving to, so this is off by default.
  • Menu Animations: If enabled, menus fade in or expand when activated, when disabled they (dis)appear without animation.
  • Cursor Effects: If enabled the caret (the vertical bar in text boxes) blinks, if disabled it does not blink. A blinking caret helps very much in identifying the textbox with the focus, so this is enabled by default.
  • Themes: If enabled the windows frames and controls may be drawn in a nicer way, if disabled the window frames and controls look like Windows 2000.
  • Font Smoothing: If enabled, allows Windows to automatically antialias (smooth) texts to improve readability. This greatly increases the bandwidth for applications with lots of text.
  • Desktop Effects: If enabled, Windows may use advanced desktop effects like crossfades or transparent windows. This greatly increases the bandwidth necessary.

Please note the following limitations

  • When connecting to an already running RDP session with a different color depth, you may not get the new color depth. This behaviour is server dependent, and different versions of Windows behave differently.
  • Automatic login may be disabled by the server, so even when you store your password it can happen that you still have to enter it.
  • The server may refuse a specific screen resolution and give you a different resolution instead.
  • The performance flags are just recommendations to the server. A server may disregard them due to server policy, missing support or other reasons.

The Searchbar

The searchbar, at the top of the Connection Center, becomes useful when you manage many entities. Enter one of the following host information to filter the bookmark list temporarily:

  • A Windows computer name
    The name of one of your computers in your local network. For example "home".
  • An Internet domain name
    The Internet domain name of your home or office computer. For example "rdp.office.com".
  • An Internet address
    The IP address of a computer. For example "10.100.23.45".

If no match has been found tap the search button to add this item to your search list. Next tap to edit the connection and save it as a bookmark. Once you have configured the connection properly you can start the RDP session.

Global Settings

Manage Settings

This section contains shared information. Learn more about:

Stored Certificates

iTap mobile RDP tries to validate the server certificate when connecting to a server. If a server certificate cannot be safely validated, the user is presented with a choice of disconnecting, or accepting the connection anyway. If a server certificate is permanently accepted, it is stored in this list, so a user can later check the certificate or remove it (stop trusting it). To delete a stored certificate just swipe the row of the selected item.

Stored TS CAL Licenses

A Microsoft Windows server might issue (and subsequently require) a TS-CAL license for a client to connect. This list displays all TS-CAL licenses currently issued to iTap mobile RDP and allows a user to remove them.

Tap a license to view details, and swipe a row from left to right to delete a given license.

Set up a Gateway

The gateway information is part of the global settings, starting with iTap mobile RDP version 1.9.

Tap "Add a new Gateway" to create a new entry. Tap the new entry and edit the following details:

  • Label (optional): If left empty the hostname will be used.
  • Host(mandatory): Enter a gateway name, an Internet domain name or an IP address.
  • Port: The default port for RDP over TS Gateway is 443. We recommend not to change this setting.
  • Credentials (optional): If credentials are left empty, the credentials of the connecting bookmark will be used automatically.

In order to assign a gateway to one or more bookmarks you need to enter the bookmarks' settings.

If a gateway is not needed anymore swipe a row and use the delete button.

Autostart Configurations for Bookmarks

You can configure iTap mobile RDP to start a specific connection each time you open it and no other connection is running. You have four options:

  • Do not autostart anything. If you start iTap mobile RDP you will see the bookmark list. This is the default.
  • Restart the last active connection. If you terminated iTap mobile RDP while connected to a server, the connection will be restored the next time you launch it. If you terminated iTap mobile RDP while at the bookmark screen, nothing will be started the next time you launch it.
  • If only a single bookmark exists, automatically start it. If you have only a single bookmark in your list, it will be automatically launched every time.
  • Always launch a specific bookmark. You can select one of your bookmarks to have it start every time you launch iTap mobile RDP.

Please note that autostart only happens when you are in the bookmark list. If you leave iTap mobile RDP while a desktop session is running, and then later return to iTap mobile RDP, it will not terminate the session, but rather stay in the one it is already displaying.

Autostart configurations for URL schemes

This setting is enabled by default and triggers that RDP connections from links in Safari are lauchned right away. At the same time a temporary entry is created in the bookmark list. If disabled the RDP client opens without starting a session but still creates the temporary entry.

Manage Extensions

The following extensions are part of iTap mobile RDP:

RD Web Access

This module allows you to connect iTap mobile RDP to an RD Web Access portal. The RD Web Access portal must be running at least Windows Server 2008.

You will be able to see and launch the published applications and desktops.

  • RD Web Access URL: The location of the RD Web Access portal. This typically looks like "http://www.some-company.com/rdweb". Your IT staff should be able to give you the correct value for this.
  • Username: The username you are using to log onto the RD Web Access portal.
  • Password: Supply the password for the username.

Leostream Support

This extension integrates iTap mobile RDP with Leostream Connection Broker. You will automatically see your Leostream desktops in the iTap mobile RDP bookmark list. All Leostream connections work exactly the same as normal iTap mobile RDP connections.

  • Server: Address of the Leostream Connection Broker server.
  • Username: Username to log on to the Leostream Connection broker.
  • Password: Password for this user.
  • Domain: Optional domain for logon.

LineaPro Barcode Scanning

In order to use this extension please install the LineaPRO enclosure as instructed by the manual of your scanner. You can check if the scanner is has been detected by iTap mobile RDP by opening the settings for this extension and see the status information.

The following settings can be modified:

  • Overlay: Display an image over the desktop while the scanner is active (the button is pressed).
  • Beep upon scan: Beep when a barcode was successfully scanned.
  • Alternative beep: Instead of a beep, make a double beep.
  • Multi-scan mode: Continue scanning while the button is held down. If this is turned off, then scanning will stop after the first barcode was detected.
  • Prefix: Send these keys before sending the barcode data.
  • Postfix: Send these keys after sending the barcode data.
  • Allow Special Keys in Barcode: Allow special keys in barcodes.
  • Enable MSR: Enable the Magnetic Stripe Reader (MSR) to read credit cards and other cards.
  • MSR XML Mode: Send the MSR data as XML formatted text (by default they are sent unformatted).
  • MSR Prefix: Send these keys before sending the MSR data.
  • MSR Postfix: Send these keys after sending the MSR data.

Set Lock Code

You can protect the application misuse by others. Once set you need to enter it every time you want to start iTap mobile RDP.

WARNING: If you cannot remember the code, you cannot reset it! You will have to remove and reinstall iTap mobile RDP from your device!

Once you are Connected

First Steps

One of the first things you might need is a keyboard to enter your username and password in the RDP session. Swipe three fingers downwards to activate the keyboard. Use the same gesture, or the button to hide the keyboard again.

To perform mouse clicks, just tap the screen where you want to click. You will get an audible feedback when a click is sent. Pan and Zoom the view by dragging it with on finger, or pinch it with two fingers. See the section on gestures for more information on input gestures.

To disconnect from the computer, swipe 3 fingers from left to right. This will not close any programs on your computer and you will be able to quickly reconnect to it again.

Utility Bar

iTap mobile RDP features a utility bar on top of the screen, which can be used to control additional features of the client when inside an RDP session. To activate it, tap with three fingers anywhere on the screen.

The following buttons are available in the utility bar (from left to right):

  • Help - shows a quick overview of the gestures for the current mouse mode.
  • - Toggles the keyboard on and off. If an external keyboard is detected, this will show a Bluetooth icon: .
  • - Switches the mouse mode. Please see below for an explanation of the possible modes.
  • - Locks the screen in place. While this is active (glowing blue) you cannot pan or zoom the screen.
  • - External monitor. When an external monitor is connected with the VGA (or similar) adapter this will glow blue. You can also press it to turn the external display on and off.
  • - Disconnect. This disconnects from the current session. It is the same as swiping three fingers from left to right.

If you are using the "Zoom" accessibility feature of your iPad or iPhone, please set the utility bar to "initially on" in the advanced settings of your bookmarks. This ways you can still control iTap mobile RDP without three finger gestures (which are blocked by the "Zoom" feature).

Mouse Modes

You can now use one of three different mouse modes. You can select your preferred mode in the bookmark configuration, and also switch during a session by using the utility bar (double tap with three fingers to show and hide it).

  • Scope Mode: This is the traditional mode, as it was so far. Tap to click, hold finger to show scope for fine control.
  • Pointer Mode: In this mode the mouse cursor is always visible. You can drag it around the screen with a single finger (you do not have to hit the pointer for that). Tap anywhere on the screen to click where the pointer is. Tap with two fingers to perform a right click. The scope is not available.
  • Draw Mode: In this mode you can only use the left mouse button. Touch the screen to perform an immediate click or drag. Move/Zoom the screen by dragging/pinching two fingers.

Scope Mode

Buttons and other controls in Windows programs are designed for use with a mouse, and not with a touch based interface. While typical point-and-click semantics work very well, the size of the controls often prevents effective use. iTap mobile RDP supports zoom to alleviate the problem, but given the already small screen, this prevents efficient work. To resolve this situation scope mode was invented. When holding down a single finger for a short duration without moving, a small scope window pops up, showing the screen at a twofold magnification, and also showing the mouse cursor exactly where it is on the desktop.

The mouse cursor (and the scope) will always follow the first finger. This means, that in scope mode you can hover the mouse over a windows control. If you move the finger to the border of the screen, the screen will start to scroll in that direction. Secondly, touching the screen with additional fingers simulates mouse buttons. Touch it with one finger to use the left button, touch it with two fingers at the same time to use the right button. The buttons are pressed immediately and as long as you hold down the additional finger(s). This makes drag and drop a very simple operation.

TIP: The location of the extra fingers is not important. You can the thumb of your left hand to touch a corner of the screen, while using the index finger of your right hand to move the scope.

On-Screen Keyboard

iTap mobile RDP extends the integrated on-screen keyboard with additional Windows keys. As described earlier, swipe with three fingers downwards to activate the keyboard. In order to hide it use the same gesture again or tap the hide button.

On the iPad you can switch between the letters and numpad with F-Keys and further special keys .

On iPhone and iPod touch devices you can switch between 4 different keyboards types depending on the keys you need:

  • Letters
  • Numpad
  • Special keys
  • FN keys

Bluetooth keyboard

The presence of a Bluetooth keyboard should be automatically detected, so typing on the keyboard should work as expected. If it does not, please use the three finger swipe once to bring up the keyboard.

Due to limitations in iPhone OS special keys (Ctrl, Option, Fn, ...) will not work as expected. There is nothing we can do about this at the current time, but Apple has acknowledged the problem and might provide a better solution in a future iPhone OS. If they do, we will support it.

The following keys do currently work:

  • Alphanumeric keys: These keys work normally
  • Cursor keys: Cursor Keys, and Shift+Cursor Keys work
  • Tab: Tab works, but Shift+Tab does not
  • Home/Pos1: Alt+Left performs Home
  • End: Alt+Right performs End
  • Page Up: Alt+Up performs Page Up
  • Page Down: Alt+Down performs Page Down
  • Select All: Command+A performas Ctrl+A (Select All in most programs)
  • Cut: Command+X performas Ctrl+X (Cut in most programs)
  • Copy: Command+C performas Ctrl+C (Copy in most programs)
  • Paste: Command+V performas Ctrl+V (Paste in most programs)
  • Symbols: Alt+Alphanumeric keys will produce different symbols, depending on your Language.

Gestures

iTap mobile RDP uses gestures to control all input actions except keyboard input. This frees up your screen, because it doesn't need to display any buttons.

Note: 3 finger gestures will not work if you have Apple's "Zoom" accessibility feature enabled! In that case you might use the corresponding buttons within the iTap Utility Bar instead. Make sure that the "Utility Bar" is set to "Initally On" in your bookmark's advanced settings.

You can use the following gestures:

Most important

Tap three fingers to show or hide the utility bar.

Swipe three fingers from left to right to disconnect and return to the main menu.

Swipe three fingers from top to bottom to show/hide the keyboard.

Scope Mode and Pointer Mode

A single tap will produce a mouse click on the location where you tapped. Zoom in if you need very precise control over the click location.

A simple drag will pan the display. This is a clientside operation, no mouse movement is generated on the server.

Perform a pinch gesture with two fingers to zoom in or out. Like panning this does not produce any mouse input on the server.

Drag two fingers up or down the display to emulate a mousewheel.

Tap with two fingers to produce a right click.

Tapping with one finger two times in quick succession will produce a doubleclick. Tap three times for a tripple click, and so on.

The same can be done with two fingers to do a right mouse button doubleclick.

Tap with a single finger and then quickly touch the screen again but do not release the finger to initiate a mouse drag. the mouse will be released once you remove the finger from the display.

The same can be done with two fingers for a right mouse button drag.

Scope Mode

Touch the screen and hold the finger for a short while to begin scope mode. Scope mode is in effect as long as the scope is visible.

Move the finger to move the scope. As you approach the screen borders the screen will scroll in that direction. The closer you are to the border, the faster is scrolls.

Touch the screen with a single additional finger to press the left mouse button, release the additional finger to release the left mouse button. Repeat for double- or multi-clicks.

Touch the screen with two additional finger simultaneously to press the right mouse button, release the additional fingers to release the left mouse button. Repeat for double- or multi-clicks.

You can move the original finger to perform mouse drags while holding down an additional finger to drag the left mouse button. The additional finger does not have to move.

You can move the original finger to perform mouse drags while holding down two additional fingers to drag the right mouse button. The additional fingers do not have to move.

Draw Mode

A single tap will produce a mouse click on the location where you tapped. Zoom in if you need very precise control over the click location.

Drag a single finger to drag the left mouse button (paint).

A drag with two fingers will pan the display. This is a clientside operation, no mouse movement is generated on the server.

Perform a pinch gesture with two fingers to zoom in or out. Like panning this does not produce any mouse input on the server.

Windows 8 Gestures

To enable Windows 8 native gestures touch and hold the left bottom corner of the screen. A hand symbol next to your finger indicates that you may use Windows 8 gestures now.

To switch between apps trace a quarter circle with a finger in the bottom or top left corner.
 

Show the charms bar by drawing a quarter circle with a finger in the bottom or top right corner.
 

Appendix

URL Scheme

iTap mobile RDP now supports opening special links in the Safari browser. As a normal user, you do not need to concern yourself with this feature, since it will work completely automatic. Just click an RDP link in Safari, and iTap mobile RDP will automatically open and connect to the given server.

If you are a systems integrator, or otherwise want to provide RDP links in your webpages, please see the URL scheme documentation on how to provide RDP links.

Extended Application Settings

In the device settings iTap mobile RPD offers further options that can be modified. Open the settings on your iPad/iPhone/iPod touch and look for iTap RDP to modify the app settings.

  • Minimap: A small map shows up and helps you to identify your current position on the remote desktop if not the full desktop is displayed on your device.
  • Scope: Set how fast the scope should appear in scope mode
  • Mouse Inertia: When moving the mouse cursor in pointer mode it continues to move in the given direction for a bit after you've stopped the swiping motion. Disable this setting if you would like the mouse cursor to stop immediately.
  • Invert Scrolling: Modify scrolling direction
  • Click Sounds: Enable or Disable Sounds
  • Show Keyboard Echo: The keyboard echo is displayed by default above the on-screen keyboard.
  • Show Welcome Screen: Enable to show welcome message again.
  • Left-Handed Mode: The Scope is positioned to the right of your finger in scope mode when enabled.
  • Key Repeat: Set speed or turn off key repeat while holding the finger on a key.
  • Disable Preview: When connecting to a host, a preview is shown of the desktop. Enable if you do not want to show a preview.
  • Disable Connection Test: When enabled no connection test is performed. This setting is disabled by default.