Parallels has long made it easy for Mac users to run PC programs (and more) within OS X. Now, they’re letting you run Windows and Mac apps within iOS via the newly announced Parallels Access for iPad. With Parallels Access, you can remotely access your Mac and PC and run the programs as if they were made for iPad. Mac support is available now, with Windows access available as a free beta.
Support of additional tablet devices is also in development, but the press release doesn’t state if this means, iPhones or Android devices in general.
Now, we don’t need to explain the need for such an app, but we will anyway. Carrying an iPad around is almost always preferable to lugging around a laptop, but you lose a lot of functionality that way. With Parallels Access for iPad, you’ll get plenty of that functionality back.
A recently released report by analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates(1) that looked at enterprise adoption of PC and mobile devices found that the majority of business users are supplementing their desktop computers with at least one mobile device. With Parallels Access, anyone can increase productivity by enjoying a seamless and integrated experience and accessing computers and desktop applications from anywhere. Additionally, customers are able to access not just their professional business applications but also their games and entertainment – including streaming video – from their Mac or PC directly on their iPad.
Key features and capabilities of Parallels Access include:
- App Launcher: Start any desktop application, Windows or Mac, as if it were made for an iPad
- App Switcher: Switch between desktop applications with ease, literally going from app-to-app in a tap
- iPad native select and drag: Select words and graphics with one finger, on Mac or Windows applications, then drag, drop and go
- iPad native copy and paste: Select and copy from your desktop and paste it anywhere – between iPad apps, or even from desktop to desktop
- SmartTap and magnifying glass: Tap with precision inside your desktop applications, so you never miss a thing
- iPad native scroll for desktop applications: It’s scrolling that just works
- Desktop keyboard on iPad: Shows up just when you need it, contains Windows and Command keys too
- Full screen for desktop applications: Maximize your screen real estate on the iPad, use every inch of your Retina® display
- Unmatched access: Even with low bandwidth, Parallels Access makes it work
The functionality doesn’t come cheap, but anyone who has lugged a laptop on a business trip to access a specific program or two will immediately understand the value of annual subscription at $79.99 for each computer being accessed. If you want access to an additional Mac or PC, you’ll need to purchase a separate subscription.
The Mac Agent is available now at this price, and comes with a 14-day free trial. The PC Agent is free until the beta period ends.
You’ll need an iPad 2/3 or iPad mini and a Mac running OS X (Mountain Lion 10.8, Lion 10.7 or the upcoming Mavericks 10.9 after it launches) to run Parallels Access. Windows users will need a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Oh, and it’s worth noting that if you already use Parallels Desktop 8 on your Mac, then Parallels Access will also “applify” all of its Windows virtual machines and apps so they work like they were made for iPad.
I’m tempted to run game emulation software on Windows through Parallels on my Mac via Parallels Access on the iPad just to see how far removed from the actual software I can get.
For more information, visit parallels.com.