Parallels Access gives the iPad a new way to remotely use Mac and Windows apps

While being able to access your home or work desktop programs from a remote PC is nothing new, the software company Parallels believe they have a new solution for iPad owners that is supposed to make Mac and Windows programs work more like native iOS apps when used on the tablet.

The new product is called Parallels Access, and as you can see in the video above, the iPad app allows users to see their remote Mac or Windows desktop as if they were using the iOS UI. It also allows you to interact with Mac and Windows apps with native iOS gestures, such as selecting words and images with one finger and viewing words and links with the virtual magnifying glass.

Parallels, best known for their Parallels Desktop for Mac program that lets Windows run on a Mac, is pushing the new Parallels Access iPad app primarily for business users. The company's press release states:

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.

The Parallels Access app is currently available for download from the iOS App Store for free, but the company is charging $79.99 for an annual subscription for each computer that is connected to the app. Mac users can access a 14 day free trial. Windows access is currently in a beta version and will be completely free to use until the beta period is over, at which point it will be subject to the same pricing and 14 day free trial.

The app supports the second and third generation iPad, along with the iPad mini. Parallels Access can connect to Macs running OS X 10.7. 10.8 and the upcoming 10.9, or Windows 7 and 8. Parallels says they are looking to add support for more devices in the future.

Source: Parallels

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25 Comments

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minster11 said,
What about office web apps? It's free.

...I don't think they run on iPad. The upcoming Office for iPad will require an Office 365 subscription, but that is a better deal than this.

I tried with my iPhone and the web apps don't launch right (don't give you a graceful message either). I'll check it on my iPad when I get home, but I don't think that they are supported for one reason or another.

The lag looks minimal to me. My question is WHY? The video says you can "use" applications. They should rephrase that to "view" applications. You're not going to create Excel spreadsheets or type long documents remotely. I can't think of any PC only programs that I would enjoy using this for from an iPad.

This app makes a good case for Surface IMO.

actually it doesn't, if you watch the video they watch a video withing IE through the VPN app and there is no lag at all.

Splashtop is cheaper and only lacks shared copy/paste (which I admit would be great).
I used it for testing my Win8 app before I had a touchscreen PC and it was really responsive (local network) and was the first time I really understood how the Win8 gestures were mean't to work.

RakeYoung said,
Splashtop does the same exact thing, except for native gestures. don't see the appeal.

Exactly. Splashtop already does this for much much cheaper than this. Parallels has a reputation of overpriced software that they are trying to keep up with. From what I can tell the only thing this brings is a "Launchpad" style interface for launching the local apps.

Splashtop also sells you the app and gives you the server software for free. With Splashtop I can have their server running on my work computer, home windows machine, and home Mac for all just the cost of the client software running on my iPad (which was $9.99 if memory serves me). For the same functionality, Parallels wants $240/year from me? GTFO!

Dunno about $80 per year per computer, but still that looks really handy otherwise.. the usual remote desktop on a tablet thing is typically kind of clunky.

Edited by Max Norris, Aug 28 2013, 12:54pm :

That's nice, should probably reply to the person who said anything about Office though. I certainly didn't, and I don't have an Office subscription either.

coderchi said,
And people still complaint about Office subscription model being $99 dollars a year. Oh the double standards.

I'm not sure what double standard you are poking at. This subscription is over priced and the Office sub is reasonable for what you get.

Obviously anyone who sees that video would notice the lag and slow response. This would turn to be more of an annoyance to people than usefulness.