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Parallels Access brings Mac and Windows programs to Apple's iPad with full gesture support

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Parallels, the company known for its virtualization software, rolled out a new iPad app and subscription service on Tuesday called Parallels Access that promises to run both Mac and PC programs on Apple's tablet with near-native performance.

Parallels Access
Parallels Access App Launcher. | Source: Parallels


With Parallels Access, the software firm has built a completely 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 resort to clunky interfaces that draw users out of the "iPad experience."

Unlike other apps, Access offers the full gamut of iPad gestures, with taps, swipes and pinches all supported by almost any desktop program. To bridge the gap between computer and tablet, 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 via a Parallels account and links the two devices with a 256-bit AES secured SSL 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 or deleted from this view in much the same way as iOS.

The App Switcher seamlessly moves users between programs, a necessary tool since Access only works in "full screen" mode. Parallels calls this method "applifying."

Parallels Access
Select, copy and pasting in Access.


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, in tandem with magnifying glass, allows users to perform advanced mouse actions like drag and drop.

One difficult maneuver that many VNC and other remote desktop apps have trouble with is scrolling. Access' gesture translation engine doesn't appear to suffer from the same problems, making in-window navigation less of a chore.

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 interested can try Parallels Access 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 Parallels' webpage, respectively.
post #2 of 69

If so, Parallells is about about to make a sh!tload of cash...

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post #3 of 69
Free Trial needed. Sounds fantastic but without even a limited demo, no way am I shelling out $80 on marketing faith.
post #4 of 69

There are a lot of remote desktop apps that are sort of "close but no cigar." If this app is as good as claimed, then maybe it will nudge some of its competitors into action to knock some of the rough edges off of their apps. Certainly, with an $80/year price they are giving their competition plenty of opportunity to improve their apps and make money. I think $80 per year is too much for an app in this category. $40 for a time unlimited license seems about right to me and is a higher price than current remote desktop apps for iPad.
 

post #5 of 69
Subscription-based software again? Now there's a trend I am never going to buy into, even if it means a return to those previous, luddite-like, computer-free-lifestyle days: my 1970's teens.

I've already bought my last version of Creative Suite (Adobe). No "creative cloud subscription required" for me, thanks. Ever. (I'll try to make this one last, then I'll MAKE a damned alternative if I have to.)

No subscription-only "Office 360" type suites for me either. Ever.

Subscription only? No sale!


Yes, I'm old-fashioned. A pro-software power-user who doesn't believe in depending on "cloud based" subscription-dependent platforms to get work done. I license it from you ONCE, I use it when/as/if I like, update on an as-needed basis (when I decide to), and pay for upgrades when I feel like (or can afford) it.

Subscription-based software is neither less expensive or all that much more convenient. It's just another kind of "product slavery". Some claim it's a way to reduce piracy and therefore costs. But I guarantee that's a ruse to earn more profits. Prices won't go down. Nor will services particularly improve.

OK, that was my soapbox. I'm climbing down now. 1wink.gif
post #6 of 69
This I gotta see....

I'ver tried other systems attempting this but they all basically sucked.

For me I'm interested simply from the technical view point. Having said that, I'm, struggling to see a need for this for normal users.
Edited by digitalclips - 8/27/13 at 7:45pm
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post #7 of 69
It looks as though it's been well thought out:



but there's no demo there of what dealing with the menu bars are like, opening and saving files etc. It would give an idea of what a touch OS X might behave like but the menu bar and filesystem are the biggest issues to overcome.
post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Subscription-based software again? Now there's a trend I am never going to buy into, even if it means a return to those previous, luddite-like, computer-free-lifestyle days: my 1970's teens.

I've already bought my last version of Creative Suite (Adobe). No "creative cloud subscription required" for me, thanks. Ever. (I'll try to make this one last, then I'll MAKE a damned alternative if I have to.)

No subscription-only "Office 360" type suites for me either. Ever.

Subscription only? No sale!


Yes, I'm old-fashioned. A pro-software power-user who doesn't believe in depending on "cloud based" subscription-dependent platforms to get work done. I license it from you ONCE, I use it when/as/if I like, update on an as-needed basis (when I decide to), and pay for upgrades when I feel like (or can afford) it.

Subscription-based software is neither less expensive or all that much more convenient. It's just another kind of "product slavery". Some claim it's a way to reduce piracy and therefore costs. But I guarantee that's a ruse to earn more profits. Prices won't go down. Nor will services particularly improve.

OK, that was my soapbox. I'm climbing down now. 1wink.gif

Maybe I'm reading this wrongly but this isn't SaaS as such, is it? You access your own applications on your own Mac or PC. That said there is a subscription for the utility to do this so it is quasi SaaS I suppose.

I agree about Adobe! I just hope someone steps up to replace MacPaint Pro, err... I mean Photoshop CS6.
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post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It looks as though it's been well thought out:



but there's no demo there of what dealing with the menu bars are like, opening and saving files etc. It would give an idea of what a touch OS X might behave like but the menu bar and filesystem are the biggest issues to overcome.

I used a similar system the name of which I forget a year or so back. Same idea, a server ran on the Mac. It sucked big time though, mainly because OS X applications are simply not designed for touch interface in so many more ways than the obvious. I'd love to try this though.

edit ... running Windows 8 running in a VM on a Mac using an iPad ... now that's my kind of convolution, yeah baby!
Edited by digitalclips - 8/27/13 at 8:04pm
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post #10 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Subscription-based software again? Now there's a trend I am never going to buy into, even if it means a return to those previous, luddite-like, computer-free-lifestyle days: my 1970's teens.

I've already bought my last version of Creative Suite (Adobe). No "creative cloud subscription required" for me, thanks. Ever. (I'll try to make this one last, then I'll MAKE a damned alternative if I have to.)

No subscription-only "Office 360" type suites for me either. Ever.

Subscription only? No sale!


Yes, I'm old-fashioned. A pro-software power-user who doesn't believe in depending on "cloud based" subscription-dependent platforms to get work done. I license it from you ONCE, I use it when/as/if I like, update on an as-needed basis (when I decide to), and pay for upgrades when I feel like (or can afford) it.

Subscription-based software is neither less expensive or all that much more convenient. It's just another kind of "product slavery". Some claim it's a way to reduce piracy and therefore costs. But I guarantee that's a ruse to earn more profits. Prices won't go down. Nor will services particularly improve.

OK, that was my soapbox. I'm climbing down now. 1wink.gif

Amen, brother. Exactly my thoughts.
I rather use ten year old software than fall into this dependency trap.
NFW, not gonna happen, not gonna do it; it's bad enough to have to pay taxes to government, not going to pay taxes to corporations. Sell the goods or get lost.

Worse, the last thing I need is a man in the middle, otherwise we can pick the NSA as service provider (Why doesn't the NSA offer online data backup anyway?). My machines have public IPs so I don't need some connection service that jeopardizes data security; and with IPv6 there is no excuse left for NAT, either.
post #11 of 69
Subscription, NO!
I don't mind buying software but I'm not renting it.
A hard copy of Parallels for the Mac didn't cost that much.
post #12 of 69

Yeah, I agree...needs a trial. 

post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress0660 View Post

Yeah, I agree...needs a trial. 

There is a trial according to the video.
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post #14 of 69
deleted- misunderstood how this works
post #15 of 69

Echoing tribalogical's fine rant, I was all about this until I hit the $80/year access fee.

No. Sale.

Subscription everything is the death of a thousand financial cuts.  Start with the pre-digital services like gas, electricity, water and trash (about $5000/year for me in a fairly tightly run suburban home with a reasonable yard). Then approximately $2200 + for cable and internet (yeah I still "watch TV" - as do likely a hundred million or more in the US).  And then add $250/year for cloud backup (500GB).  And $12-1500 a year for smart phone service.....

And boom, that's already starting to scrape 9 G's a year without paying rent (or mortgage/real estate taxes), or getting a national paper (paper or digital) - or having a bite to eat

So yeah, sticking with Office '10 on Win and Office '11 on Mac and Adobe CS 2 Creative suite rather than another $600/year.  And overloaded with video, so no Netflix, Hulu + etc.  And now everybody wants into the cash flow game. $80/year may not sound like much, but it's adding them all up that makes you see how much cash you can bleed to have a reasonable complement of digital tools.

I mean, somebody or somebodies out there, how many more of these can you name?  I'll bet there's a ton from small (domain name renewal), to middling (e.g., a moderately complex SquareSpace web site), and more companies are glomming onto this "revenue stabilization and enhancement model" every day.

"Software as a service" is a euphemism for "we can't add enough extra value in our version upgrades to make it worth your while, so we'll force you to take them."

And if we let them, they will.

 

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post #16 of 69
How does this break Apple's developer guidelines. Let me count the ways. Good luck getting this approved.
post #17 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by yelapa View Post

There are a lot of remote desktop apps that are sort of "close but no cigar." If this app is as good as claimed, then maybe it will nudge some of its competitors into action to knock some of the rough edges off of their apps. Certainly, with an $80/year price they are giving their competition plenty of opportunity to improve their apps and make money. I think $80 per year is too much for an app in this category. $40 for a time unlimited license seems about right to me and is a higher price than current remote desktop apps for iPad.
 

 

Well it doesn't really seem to be a remote desktop client at all, more like a remote app server app.  A better approach to be sure and probably the reason for the failure of the other attempts. 

post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


There is a trial according to the video.

 

And the article.  It says so right in the article just above the price where it talks about the subscription price that the same people are complaining about.  

post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It looks as though it's been well thought out:



but there's no demo there of what dealing with the menu bars are like, opening and saving files etc. It would give an idea of what a touch OS X might behave like but the menu bar and filesystem are the biggest issues to overcome.

 

The part about working with word is hilarious.  It basically turns Word into Pages for iOS by using the pages gestures and the pages toolbar popup.

 

 Like you say though, it doesn't show what happens when you go near that nightmare toolbar at the top of Word for OS X.  Pages on iOS does most of what Word's ribbon does with just a few buttons.  

post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mscientist View Post

How does this break Apple's developer guidelines. Let me count the ways. Good luck getting this approved.

I don't see it breaking any of Apple's developer guidelines at all given that similar products have existed long before without being rejected at all.

post #21 of 69
Well if the demand for such an app doesn't exist, Parallel's will be forced to cut there price / subscription practise.
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Free Trial needed. Sounds fantastic but without even a limited demo, no way am I shelling out $80 on marketing faith.

 

The program is way beyond you if you cannot read English. Go to one of the responsible people in your household and have them read the last paragraph to you V-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y...

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #23 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

This I gotta see....

I'ver tried other systems attempting this but they all basically sucked.

For me I'm interested simply from the technical view point. Having said that, I'm, struggling to see a need for this for normal users.

 

This is not really for consumers but for large businesses that want to run legacy custom company-specific Windows based software on their large iPad base.

 

With the new A7 in the horizon for the iPad, this program rungs faster then a Surface Pro running Windows 8 (which is not yet supported in a vast number of enterprise users). The IT department can stick with XP or Win7 and still plow ahead using their old MS Office programs (screw Microsoft Office subscriptions) and get the added value of having the iPad run all that legacy custom software someone wrote for Windows computers back when XP was fresh in the world.

 

At $80 per year, this is less expensive than re-writing old programs that are not touch aware and getting access to their old Office programs and documents with out paying an even higher annual subscription to Steve Bozo's Clown Posse company.

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post #24 of 69
If this works as advertised (and having used Parallels for several years, I've no reason to believe that it won't) it will be a final nail in the MS Surface's coffin...plus another push into full-on Enterprise use.
post #25 of 69

OK, I guess I am too lazy to just Google this right now, but following Macky's advice I read it slowly again and see that the iPad app and the Mac Client are free. There is a free trial for 14 days on the Mac (and 90 days for Windows, WTF?), but I need to shell out $80 a year for a registered Client.

 

Does this mean that I can still have some crippled functionality as an unregistered client, or will I be completely locked out?

 

The app seems interesting if it works as promised. Of course, with the amount of times I need to access my Mac via the iPad, Ignition works just fine. A one-time payment of $14 was all I had to do.

 

I may be not thinking far enough, but if I want to edit documents, I already have the Pages app. If I want to edit quick pics, I have iPhoto and PS Express. If I need to transfer files or start Transmission on my Mac, I have Ignition. So far I do not have a need to natively run Mac apps on my iPad.

 

But I guess it does make sense in the business environment. Imagine if I could develop web applications on my iPad using Visual Studio via this app!

post #26 of 69
Without getting into the subscription cost and just talking about functionality, here's my assessment (by the way, there's a free 14 day demo which how I'm trying it out).

It's pretty awesome.

I was using Splashtop before and while it was pretty good (and still is if you want a FULL desktop experience, such as when I troubleshoot my Mom's computer remotely) this definitely blows it away for actual app usage. It appears to run in 1024x768 and doesn't seem to use retina graphics on iPad which I'm guessing is to keep the speeds good (which they are) and I don't see any way to change that. Not a deal-breaker for me but it could be for some.

Actually navigating apps, using them, and switching between them is utterly amazing. I was doing all of this over an LTE connection on my iPad 4 and it was incredibly smooth. Over wifi it was of course even better. They totally nailed the problem that I have with most remote apps for iPad when it comes to selection and precise mouse requirements. I was actually able to edit a photo in Lightroom 4 and use all of the sliders without making a mistake. Not that I would ever want to do this most likely, but the fact that I could was impressive.

My Mac's screen mirrored what I was doing on the iPad though there is also an option to lock the computer when being used remotely and after disconnection if you want. As a very important attention to detail, when you quit the App, all of your windows go back to their original sizes. This is where Splashtop fails, as if I'm not working in native resolution then all my windows are resized to the lower resolution when I get back to my computer.

I wish the cost were a little lower, but I'm seriously considering it. It's very good.
post #27 of 69

Apple should buy this company. Imagine if Microsoft bought it just to kill the product before it kills them.

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post #28 of 69
I've been using WinAdmin as a remote Windows desktop which works pretty good for me and it was only $8 one time fee.
So $80 per year is just insane if you only need to access Windows remotely.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post

) it will be a final nail in the MS Surface's coffin...plus another push into full-on Enterprise use.

This seems not to be a Windows emulator but just a remote access - one of many available on App Store
post #30 of 69
well, if you have a fast internet connection, could see this being quite useful. I'm using it right now and it's free for 14 days.
post #31 of 69
some apps actually work pretty well considering. Kind of what Timbuktu was doing, kinda sorta, but this is a little different. There are some apps that won't work well. I already tried a game and no dice, but i used word, while playing iTunes and using other apps as well. Again, you need to have a fast connection. It's not as good as using a native app, but i can see this as quite useful. It does give a little taste of using OS X on an iPad, kinda sorta.
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post

If this works as advertised (and having used Parallels for several years, I've no reason to believe that it won't) it will be a final nail in the MS Surface's coffin...plus another push into full-on Enterprise use.

Agreed, IT should love this.

MS Surface needs another nail? Flowers for the funeral maybe ... 1wink.gif
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post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Apple should buy this company. Imagine if Microsoft bought it just to kill the product before it kills them.

Funny I was just I was wondering if VMWare might replicate this idea, I assume they would be in a good position to do so, and thus ensure such technology remains available just incase of your doomsday scenario.

It's doubly cruel for MS to see Windows accessed in a VM on a Mac ... now they just need to add WINE to Parallels for Mac, to enable Office to run without Windows 8 1biggrin.gif
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post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

This seems not to be a Windows emulator but just a remote access - one of many available on App Store

Correct, you need Windows in a VM on your Mac. Think how useful this is to IT and how iPad sales will grow because of this and how it will kill of the need for a Surface, only justified because of Office. MS Office is one of the last remaining hurdles to throwing MS out of many corporations and thus requiring them to hang on to PCs and consider Surface tablets.

... It may be one of many, but readers comments above indicate it is far better than all previous attempts to do this. You don't even need a PC involved and as i just mentioned if they could throw a WINE wrapper for Office into the package you can kiss needing Windows in a VM good by although that is not advantageous to Parallels I guess...
Edited by digitalclips - 8/28/13 at 5:21am
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post #35 of 69
good lord thats expensive. $80/year/COMPUTER. wow. Just wow.
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post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dugbug View Post

good lord thats expensive. $80/year/COMPUTER. wow. Just wow.

Aimed at corporations not the public I guess. I bet they will offer a discount for group licensing agreements.
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post #37 of 69
I use parallels. I almost beta tested this. 1smile.gif

I love that I can access my mac from anywhere with my phone.
Not as smooth as logmein, but it works!
post #38 of 69
Why cant the just sell an access server component for the paranoid and technically advanced users? NSA / Google etc does not make me want to use this even if i needed it.

This might have overcome the biggest problems that other vnc setups have:

-native resolution of conmputer (Whaat i cant have the desktop in my native ipad resolution instead of the the computers resolution?)
-static screen (disable zooming)
post #39 of 69

LogMeIn Pro is $70 per year for one computer, so $80 per year seems about right. $80 is nothing to a business user who can write it off as an expense anyway.

post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by boriscleto View Post

LogMeIn Pro is $70 per year for one computer, so $80 per year seems about right. $80 is nothing to a business user who can write it off as an expense anyway.

 

Kind of a joke to think that way. Anything you can write off as an expense, you have to make as profit in the first place.

That either means raising prices to adjust for added expense, which means everyone pays these types of corporate taxes indirectly, or it means ultimately less in the pockets of the business owner, which means less money to spend, invest elsewhere, incl. the quality of the products offered by that business to its customers.

 

Business don't "just make money" that they can "simply write off", if that were so, everyone would own a company the size of Apple, because we'd just keep making money, and whatever the cost of doing business is, we'd just write off, since money doesn't matter and profits just keep flowing...

 

Not exactly the universe we live in, if I may point out. In a business, every penny counts, just as for "regular" people. The only businesses that don't care about expenses too much, are those that make money (big banks) or who have their customers by the balls (desperation based business models)

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