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FAQ

About the AppsAnywhere service

What is the AppsAnywhere?

The University's AppsAnywhere service is part of the University Managed Desktop (UMD) service. It lets you to connect to a Windows 10 virtual desktop environment over the internet. It is delivered using the Citrix Workspace application. It gives you access to a virtual Windows 10 environment that's hosted in the cloud. Using AppsAnywhere, you have 24/7 access to your own Windows UMD desktop on any device and lets you access:

  • a range of specialist software applications without having to download them to your personal or work device
  • restricted web resources
  • University filestores and shared drives.

Who can use AppsAnywhere?

The service is available to all University staff and students on both their work and personal devices.

What is "Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)"?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a way of hosting desktop environments on a central server. Desktop images run within virtual machines (VMs) and are delivered to client devices over a network. These may be PCs or other devices, like tablets or thin client terminals. The University is using technology from Citrix to deliver its VDI. The AppsAnywhere service uses the Citrix Workspace application to deliver your personal Windows 10 desktop environment on any device.

What does it cost?

Institutions are charged for the service on a monthly basis:

  • £20/month for Windows/MacOS
  • £25/month Virtual Windows environment
  • £3/month iOS devices

What are the scheduled maintenance hours?

Maintenance of the service occurs between 12 midnight and 5am daily. During these times you may receive a message prompting you to save your work and log off. After any maintenance work is complete, you can log in again and resume work.

How do I report problems with the service?

Issues or problems should be reported via the UIS Service Desk:

Using AppsAnywhere

How do I use AppsAnywhere?

The service can be accessed from any device – desktop computers, laptops, tablets and phones. See instructions for different operating systems:

Will I be able to access my departmental drives/data?

Eventually, yes. We are currently migrating departmental mapped shared drives into the Institutional File Store service so that they will be available to you in AppsAnywhere.

Do I have access to my current drives/data?

Yes, the data you have access to on departmental shared drives will also be available in the AppsAnywhere.

Can I create items on the Desktop?

Yes. Files stored on the desktop will be re-directed to a folder called 'Desktop' in the root of your personal OneDrive for Business filestore.

Does this affect my OneDrive? Will my data be available?

No. You will still have access to your OneDrive via the web browser in AppsAnywhere.

Why does it look slightly different to my local computer?

The AppsAnythere service is a standalone virtual environment that uses the Citrix Workspace application to access the University's network, data storage and licenced applications. It’s not intended to be a direct replication of either your local or work workstation environment. What you are seeing on screen is Citrix Workspace, not a native Windows 10 desktop which is why it may look slightly different to what you're used to.

How do I sign out properly?

Sign out of AppsAnywhere via the normal Windows/Start menu:

  1. Select the Power button
  2. Select Disconnect.
  3. [Optional] For full shutdown, navigate to your profile in the top right corner of the Start workspace and select Logout.

Can I use my webcam?

Yes, Citrix Workspace can access your local webcam. You may find that you have to configure your device's webcam settings to allow permission for the Citrix HDX Engine to access your webcam.

Can I use my microphone and speakers?

Yes, Citrix Workspace can access your local microphone.You may find that you have to configure your device's microphone settings to allow permission for the Citrix HDX Engine to access your mic.

Can I use my USB flash drive?

You can access local attached USB flash drives. When opening File Explorer you will see a pop-up asking which permissions to grant Citrix Workspace.

Alternatively, you can permanently grant these permissions so you don't get a pop-up each time (this will affect all your devices):

  1. log in to Citrix Workspace
  2. navigate to your profile in the top right corner,
  3. select Accounts
  4. select Devices and tick 'When a session starts, connect devices automatically'.

Software

What applications are available on this service?

[Link to follow]

Which web browsers are available?

The only browsers that are available on the UMD service (and hence, available via AppsAnywhere) are Chromium Edge and Chrome. No other web browsers will be added.

Why are some applications missing?

We surveyed staff about the applications they use and have analysed the results to understand which software is most used so that we can prioritise delivering those. We are currently in the process of packaging a long list of applications of use in AppsAnywhere, however this process will take time and not all the software you use will be available at tthe time of launch.

Additionally, some applications are not suitable for delivery via the virtual desktop service due to licensing issues or technical difficulties. Where this is the case, it will not possible for us to make these titles available in AppsAnywhere.

Can I have access to CAD applications?

No. Regrettably, CAD applications won’t be made available due to the high size of resources they require to run.

Can I play YouTube/videos as normal?

Yes. You can view YouTube videos in the Chromium Edge web browser.

Does it have anti-virus measures in place?

Yes, the service provides McAfee anti-virus.

Why does my colleague see applications that I do not?

Everone's profile is unique and so every user will have a set of default applications. In addition to the default AppsAnywhere applications, people may see any additional software that they use in their role, to which they have been given access permissions.

If you don’t have access to an application that you believe you should, please contact the UIS Service Desk (see above).

What happens if I need an application that is not on there?

The majority of the most frequently used applications are available on AppsAnywhere, however some applications are not suitable for the Apps Anywhere environment. This can be due to the way the application is designed (i.e. many older applications), due to the nature of the application (it is too graphics intensive e.g. CAD) or it is not possible to license it in the AppsAnywhere virtual environment.

How do I request an application and how long until its available?

We are creating a form for you to request additional applications to be added to the UMD environment so that it will be available via AppsAnywhere. The lead time for actioning new software requests will vary depending on how suitable the application is for the virtual desktop service.

Printing

Can I print to my current printer?

From the Virtual Desktop you can print to a sub-set of on-campus network printers. It is also possible to print to your local printer.

Can I print to my home printer?

The virtual desktop will install/map your local default printer from the device you are accessing the Citrix VDI. If there is no default printer attached to the local device, you are connecting from, you will need to first install or set an installed printer to default.

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