Convert Mac Programs into iPad Apps
How often do you have an iPad in your hands, but wish it had the power of a program on your Mac (or PC)? While iPads have reinvented computing for many, the apps are often severely reduced from the power of similar desktop programs – often from the same company that has released the app. Now, there is a great solution on the market.
Parallels made its name with a fantastic program that allows a Mac to run Windows programs (which we use to run the accounting program that keeps track of the cash for my VC firm). They have now come out with a similar concept for the iPad, which allows the iPad to access and control programs that are actually running on a Mac or PC. The important trick is that Parallels Access presents what is running on the desktop computer as “Applified” – much more like an iPad app than a computer program. So, it is much easier to control it using the iPad’s touch interface.
Parallels Access is expensive at $80 – this is not one of those apps that you download just to see if you like it – but I already have allocated it one of the cherished spots on my iPad’s home page. This is a fantastic solution.
Here is the GigaOM review of Parallels Access [Link].
Well known for its virtualization software, Parallels has a new product that effectively lets iPad owners use full Windows or Mac applications on their tablet. Called Parallels Access, the new $80 software is a twist on the remote desktop paradigm, focusing more on the app experience. The company says the software “appifies” desktop software so that it appears the titles were made for iPad.
I was a bit skeptical when reading this claim but a closer look at the Parallels Access demonstration video backs it up:
It looks like Parallels put some effort into bringing the iOS swipes, gestures and copy/paste functionality into Access, which is key: I’ve used remote desktop software from various mobile devices and while functional, they’re often not optimized for a touch environment. Here’s a list of the specific tweaks and features that help raise the bar:
- App Launcher: Start any desktop application, Windows or Mac, as if it were made for an iPad
- App Switcher: Switch between desktop applications with ease, literally going from app-to-app in a tap
- iPad native select and drag: Select words and graphics with one finger, on Mac or Windows applications, then drag, drop and go
- iPad native copy and paste: Select and copy from your desktop and paste it anywhere – between iPad apps, or even from desktop to desktop
- SmartTap and magnifying glass: Tap with precision inside your desktop applications, so you never miss a thing
- iPad native scroll for desktop applications: It’s scrolling that just works
- Desktop keyboard on iPad: Shows up just when you need it, contains Windows and Command keys too
- Full screen for desktop applications: Maximize your screen real estate on the iPad, use every inch of your Retina® display
- Unmatched access: Even with low bandwidth, Parallels Access makes it work
Parallels Access is sold as a subscription for $79.99 per year. That’s not the price per iPad but the price per PC or Mac you want to remotely access from your Apple tablet. The company is offering a 14-day free trial for Mac owners while the PC version is still in beta and free to test.