Home Icon
parallels-ipad-windows-mac

Parallels applifies Windows, Mac with iPad access

By Leigh D. Stark | 1:44 pm 28/08/2013

Mac users have long trusted Parallels as one of the better way to run Windows on Mac and even a second installation of Mac on a Mac, but a new app from the company makes it possible to use either OS on an iPad, and the effect is fantastic.

Heading to Apple’s App Store on the iPad from today, Parallels Access for iPad is a new tool that allows anyone with an iPad and a computer with either Mac OS X or Windows to access that computer from their iPad.

More than just a simple way of remotely logging into the computer, Parallels Access takes the applications already on that computer and tries to make them compatible the gestures that the iPad uses, all the while providing an on-screen virtual trackpad in case gestures aren’t enough.

The process is described by Parallels as “applifying,” which seems to go further than just turning a webpage into an app normally called “appifying” and makes every application in an operating system technically compatible with an iPad.

“We are now in an always-on age where people are increasingly demanding access to their applications and data regardless of physical location,” said Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels.

“With Parallels Access, you can tap, swipe and pinch your way around Mac and Windows applications to ultimately be more productive at work, and lead a more connected life.”

To make Parallels Access work, you need more than just the iPad app, as a piece of software has to be installed on the computer you’d like to access, with support existing for both Mac OS and Windows at this time.

After installing it, you run the app on your iPad (supporting iPad 2 through 4, as well as the iPad Mini), and from here, a subscription is required to access the computer, with the fee charged at $79.99 annually per computer being accessed.

Applified Windows 8. As you do.

Once all of that is done, you can login, with the app turning your programs into a tiny version of of the iOS app menu. Not all your apps will be listed at first, but these are easily added by looking through your system via the app and letting Parallels Access applify them.

With that done, you can simply run the apps from your iPad, which will launch the programs both on the iPad and on the computer you’re connecting to, allowing you to control programs not made for iOS remotely.

In our testing, we found this to be compatible with pretty much anything on either platform, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Audition, Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and even Valve’s Steam, allowing us to load up games.

There were some catches to using them, however, and mouse movements with clicks engaged – such as when you draw in Paint by holding down the mouse button and dragging or selecting multiple characters in Age of Empires II on Steam – weren’t actually picked up by the software, making some things less than useful.

Age of Empires worked, but we couldn't click on much thanks to the way controls had been mapped.

That said, our hands-on time was spent with a pre-release app, and this could easily be fixed either now at full release or with a subsequent update. In fact, one area surprised us, and that was the expectation of slow downs, which were only present when the network itself seemed to suffer from congestion.

Overall, it’s an impressive little service, and one that actually in some ways feels like the only really good example we’ve seen for owning an iPad with a mobile access, as it essentially brings a work computer to any iPad in any place where there’s a mobile connection available.

Parallels Access is available now for the iPad on the App Store, with the required Parallels User Agent software running on Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 (supported by 10.9 when it launches), as well as a beta version running on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Latest reviews

  • Review: HTC Desire 520

    Whenever we hear the word “cheap” associated with a phone, we hit the deck, preparing ourselves for the onslaught of something awful. Can HTC’s Desire 520 shake us from…
  • Review: Toshiba Satellite Click 10

    When you can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, the hybrid might be the answer, and if you’re on a budget, Toshiba’s Click 10 offers up something that…
  • Review: HP Spectre x2

    Not quite a Surface, but still something close, HP's Spectre x2 is one interesting machine, and worth checking out if you're keen to see a tablet with all the…
  • Review: Sol Republic Shadow wireless earphones

    There’s nothing quite like being liberated from the cables that wired earphones rely on, but often the prices of wireless earphones don’t match up to the performance. Fortunately, Sol’s…
  • Review: Acer Predator 17

    Not every PC should be treated the same, and Acer's Predator 17 looks to prove it, skipping past the slim and minimalistic design most laptops features these days, opting…
  • AppMonday: Star Trek - Timelines

    Shock horror: the latest “Star Trek” game isn’t so much a game, but rather an excuse to let Star Trek fans let go of money for a freemium title…
  • Review: Netgear Nighthawk X4S

    Modem routers need not be chunky things, and Netgear intends to prove it, letting us play with its Nighthawk X4S, a network device designed to keep the speeds up…
  • The new music box: Bang & Olufsen’s Beolit 15 reviewed

    Bang & Olufsen’s take on the portable speaker is one of the more interesting portables you’ll ever see simply because it’s like carrying around a box of sound. Literally.
  • AppMonday: Camera Noir

    Colour photography isn’t for everyone, and so if you prefer seeing the world through a monochromatic lens, an app for the iPhone aims to make that possible. If only…
  • AppMonday: You Must Build A Boat

    Games don’t come more addictive than this puzzler, mixing role-playing elements with a pixelated sense of humour and a feeling that Candy Crush and Columns will never be the…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More