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Thread: Parallels Access Attempts to "Applify" Desktop Apps for the iPad

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    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Parallels Access Attempts to "Applify" Desktop Apps for the iPad


    Parallels, the company which has been known for its virtualization software, rolled out a new iPad app and subscription service called Parallels Access that promises to run both Mac and PC programs on Apple’s iPad with near-native performance. With Parallels Access, the software firm claims to have built a new way to naturally interact with desktop applications on an iPad. A number of developers have fielded similar apps that promise full remote control functionality from Apple’s tablet but many end up utilizing clunky interfaces that draw users out of the “iPad experience.”

    Unlike many other apps, Access offers the full-fledged usage of iPad gestures with taps, swipes and pinches all supported by almost any desktop program. To help bridge the gap between the computer and tablet further, the system translates mouse clicks and movement into iPad-friendly gestures. Parallels claims its new product can handle a variety of tasks including business programs, streaming video and even games. Internet speeds are supposedly a non-factor though degradation may be expected when connecting over cellular networks.

    The system is actually split into two parts: the iOS app and a Mac or PC client that runs on the host computer. Access authenticates and connects the two devices via a Parallels account, ensuring a secure connection. At the heart of Access is the App Launcher, which is basically a Springboard-like layout of compatible desktop applications. Programs can be added and deleted from this view in the same way as iOS. The App Switcher seamlessly moves users between programs, a necessary tool since Access only works in “full screen mode,” which is called “applifying” by Parallels.


    Navigating within running programs is an intuitive experience thanks to the combination of SmartTap and the iOS magnifying glass. SmartTap is a contextual cursor control that allows users to perform advanced mouse actions such as drag and drop in conjunction with the magnifying glass. One of the many issues that arise in VNC and other remote desktop apps is scrolling. Access’ gesture translation engine doesn’t appear to suffer from the same issue, making in-window navigation less problematic. The app’s keyboard is also tweaked from the standard iOS version, offering users dedicated keys for functions, arrows and even the Windows button.


    Those of you who are interested in trying Parallels Access can do so for free for 14 days on a Mac and 90 days on a Windows machine. Subscription pricing is set at $79.99 per year for each computer running a registered client. The iPad app and Mac or PC clients can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Parallel’s website, respectively.

    Are any of you interested in testing out Parallels Access?

    Source: iTunes, Parallels

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

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    Livin the iPhone Life slim.jim's Avatar
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    Sounds cool. Will definitely give this a try.

    Update: It works really well over a local network. It's kind of ****** to have to pay a yearly subscription for it though, it's not like they are hosting your programs in the cloud. Its just an advanced version of Remote Desktop designed to work with gestures. So you have to buy all the programs and then pay $80 a year to use them on your iPad. I don't know if this is something I will keep installed.
    Last edited by slim.jim; 08-28-2013 at 09:22 AM.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone HovikGas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim.jim View Post
    Sounds cool. Will definitely give this a try.

    Update: It works really well over a local network. It's kind of ****** to have to pay a yearly subscription for it though, it's not like they are hosting your programs in the cloud. Its just an advanced version of Remote Desktop designed to work with gestures. So you have to buy all the programs and then pay $80 a year to use them on your iPad. I don't know if this is something I will keep installed.
    Which iPad do you have? I still have an iPad 2, and doubt it can handle it. Even if it can, the 1024x768 display would be a joke for running desktop apps, so I was wondering if the retina display is any better...

    If they allowed you to change the resolution, to "scale" as Apple likes to call it, I think this just might be what I've waiting for... Instead of paying almost a thousand dollars for one device that "can do it all" (what I was hoping for out of the surface pro), $80 a year is a steal for turning my iPad into a full blown desktop that can run OS X and Windows too!

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    Livin the iPhone Life slim.jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HovikGas View Post
    Which iPad do you have? I still have an iPad 2, and doubt it can handle it. Even if it can, the 1024x768 display would be a joke for running desktop apps, so I was wondering if the retina display is any better...

    If they allowed you to change the resolution, to "scale" as Apple likes to call it, I think this just might be what I've waiting for... Instead of paying almost a thousand dollars for one device that "can do it all" (what I was hoping for out of the surface pro), $80 a year is a steal for turning my iPad into a full blown desktop that can run OS X and Windows too!


    There is a screen shot of Word 2011 on OS X. It actually changes the desktop resolution to 1024x768. It then maximizes every application that you are using to fill the screen below the menu bar. If you sit in front of the computer you have the server installed on it just looks like a Remote Desktop session is going on.

    I am on an iPad 4.
    Last edited by slim.jim; 08-28-2013 at 01:37 PM.

  5. #5
    £55 per year. Is this some sort of joke. It's not April 1st yet!

  6. #6
    I feel like if you buy the full parallels program, this should come included.

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    Livin the iPhone Life slim.jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty Manley Silberhorn View Post
    I feel like if you buy the full parallels program, this should come included.
    +1. I'm pretty sure I can do this with RDP on Windows since you can set a screen resolution for the remote session. Just set it to 1024x768 or any other 4:3 resolution.

  8. #8
    Or buy Splashtop on iPhone/iPad and that does the exact same for £5? Also prefer been able to do everything on it rather than just the apps they've implemented

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    Super Sweet Moderator thetoothfairy's Avatar
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    I try to stay away from in app purchases. I'd rather pay one price and own it.

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