Known for the their virtualizion software that allows Mac users run Windows within OS X, Parallels is taking their expertise to the iPad. Parallels Access is a new app that allows users to run Mac or PC apps remotely on their iPad. Accessing apps from your computer remotely is no easy task, but the company manages to make them ‘iPad friendly’ by changing how they are controlled. The intent here is to not only allow access to your desktop applications, but to make using them feel as if they are native to the iPad. A lofty goal, but one with a huge payoff, primarily for business users.
How Does It Work?
There are two parts to the process. A client app need to be downloaded to your computer and the iPad must have Access for iPad. Unlike a remote access app, Access manages to present your apps in finger-friendly iPad app launcher. When you launch an app, it takes the entire screen real estate on your iPad, furthering the native feel. Desktop apps for the most part were not designed for touch. Parallels manages to work around this using a technology they call ‘Smart Tap’, a feature that intuitively helps with taps that are not precise. iPad specific features are also part of the package, so you’ll be able to copy & paste as you would with any native app.
The Verge reports that Parallels Access was responsive in their brief tests, with a ‘hint of lag’. Ultimately, it appears to be more than capable of editing a spreadsheet, presentation or word document.
This isn’t an app to bring your PC games to the iPad. Nor will graphic designers use it to remotely edit 30GB photo files from their iPad. Parallels Access seems suited to business users, looking for an easier way to directly interact and work with productivity apps from their iPads. It’s a powerful app and priced accordingly, requiring a yearly fee of $79.99.
Early reviews in the App Store are mostly positive, with the app seeing four-star rating. The app is free and enables a 14-day trial. Beyond that, you’re required to use the in-app purchase to unlock the 1-year subscription.
You can download Parallels Access from the App Store.