New Magellan Mobile app released

The all new CSE Magellan Mobile App is now available for download from app stores. Search the store for ‘Magellan’ or follow one of the links at the bottom of this article. This is a major update of the app, re-written from the ground-up and introducing exciting new functionality, enabling students and staff to access their resources seamlessly from mobiles and tablets.

Full Magellan Functionality on Your Mobile

The most obvious difference from previous versions of the app is the introduction of an app dashboard. This presents all of the tiles that have been assigned to the user, allowing them to quickly and easily access their web-links directly from the application.

Web apps will now open within the application itself using a built-in mini-browser, allowing you to use the app to do anything that a normal browser based Magellan session could do. It provides a complete one-stop Magellan experience for all mobile device users as you no longer need to fire up a browser on your tablet or phone in order to run your web apps.

Tiles support SSO (single-sign-on) so users do not need to enter any usernames or passwords, and tiles that access Remote Desktop (RDP) applications via Guacamole work just as they do within a computer browser.


Network File Access on Your Mobile

The primary purpose of the original Magellan Mobile App was to integrate with the file system, enabling access to files and folders held within the school network. Users can browse the school network shares and upload / download files directly from their mobile device.

Users can download files and send them directly to compatible apps on their devices to view and work on. A limitation of all mobile operating systems is that you cannot do ‘on the fly’ editing of files – you have to download and then re-upload your work once complete.

However, the Magellan Mobile App enables users to use the ‘send to’ function to bridge different online storage solutions. For instance, you can send to Google Drive or One Drive, effectively copying your files to your preferred cloud storage solution. You can even do it the other way around and copy files from Google back to your home directory. You simply select the file and then ‘send to’ Magellan.

Preview: opens a window that simply displays the content of the file, there is no editing facility offered.

Open In: allows you to download and directly open the file within a specified application. Please note that there are considerable differences between Android and Apple devices. For instance, Android will allow you to download a file and open it in the mobile Word App. Apple do not allow you to do this. This is partly due to enforced security restrictions; but is also because Apple devices do not support the concept of a device storage system. Each individual application on an iOS device has its own ring-fenced local storage.

Send To: primarily to allow downloaded files to be sent to other systems or apps, like sending the file to cloud storage (Google Drive). But on Apple devices, you can use the ‘send to’ function to copy the file to another application. For instance, you can send to Word, which copies the file to the application’s storage and opens it.



Working with Files and Native Apps

There are a few differences when working with files and interacting with native mobile applications. Android is pretty open (and some would argue less secure), whilst Apple mobile devices are pretty secure (and some would say less flexible).

Uploading files is supported on both mobile platforms, but as you would expect, Apple devices are a bit more restricted due to the absence of a local file system. Both devices allow you to directly interact with the features the device supports. This means you can take a photograph or video and upload it directly to your home directory. On Android you can even scan the local file system and upload it directly. But on Apple devices you have to use the ‘send to’ Magellan function.

Multi-Factor Authentication

The new Magellan Mobile App is also compatible with MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), so it can be configured to perform a second verification before logging in. A link will be emailed to the registered address asking you to either; provide an answer to a secret question; or respond to a text message. All sensible precautions if you are giving staff access to the MIS system.

Magellan Mobile Features Summary
  • Download and upload files to and from your Windows based network
  • Open documents from your networked file shares
  • Browse file shares with an explorer-style look and feel
  • Add, rename, delete, copy, move and paste files and directories/folders
  • Complies with NTFS permissions you have set on your directories and files
  • Upload files from other apps installed on your device into Magellan
  • Download files from your files shares for use in other apps
  • Search for files and directories
  • Acts as a browser extension to perform SSO using the familiar Magellan tile interface
  • Supports Multi-Factor Authentication (email / secret question and text message)
Future Developments

Magellan and the Magellan Mobile Application continue to evolve and we now have a development roadmap that includes:

  • Windows UWP (Universal Windows Program) app: an app that works on Windows 10 mobile devices (and will be published in the Microsoft app store). In some respects, having this app on a staff laptop will improve usability and make the system more secure. You won’t need a browser in order to access the portal.
  • Mobile Authenticator (another MFA option that allows the mobile app to generate a code for Multifactor Authentication)
  • Single-sign-on to native apps – i.e. apps that are installed on the device.
  • Mobile app usage stats – which could include location information.

MAGELLAN FROM CSE

The universal portal for education, providing simple access to local and cloud resources from any device through a single interface.

• The complete cloud and local portal
• Supports BYOD and device independence
• Anywhere, anytime access
• Supports learning and engagement
• Supports hybrid cloud computing
• IOS and Android apps available

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