iPad, as the most popular tablet in the world, fails to do everything a PC or Mac can because plenty of apps work only on PC or Mac. With more and more people using iPads on-the-go, remotely accessing a computer from an iPad has long been practiced, but they tend to be difficult to use. Those programs present a traditional desktop to the user; they deliver a lot of control, but they’re unwieldy on touch-only devices. Parallel’s launch of Parallels Access for iPad on August, 27th, 2013 gives customers an entrance to enjoy native iPad gestures even in applications not optimized for iPad. It isn’t the only iPad app that can remotely control computers, but it does the best job of treating the computer programs it accesses as if they were iPad apps, without sacrificing functionality.
Availability and pricing
Parallels Access for iPad can be purchased on the App Store. You’ll need to subscribe to the service for the hefty price of $79.99 a year per machine, although the app is technically free. Each Mac or PC being accessed needs its own subscription. The Mac Agent is available immediately with a 14-day free trial, and the PC Agent is currently in beta and is available at no charge during the beta period. You are required to download the app and register an account. Also, you need to download and install the agent for the Mac or PC you want to access. To access your computer and iPad via the app, you should firstly make sure that the machine is connected to a Wi-Fi network. During the installation process, you’d better set the computer to never go to sleep for fear that the machine falls off the grid and the app can’t access it.
How it works
First of all, you are required to download the app and register an account. Also, you need to download and install the agent for the Mac or PC you want to access. To access your computer and iPad via the app, you should firstly make sure that the machine is connected to a Wi-Fi network. During the installation process, you’d better set the computer to never go to sleep for fear that the machine falls off the grid and the app can’t access it.
After the installations and setup, the operation will be easy. You won’t see the normal desktop of your computer, but a launcher screen. Touch any icon, say Microsoft Word, and it will show up in fill-screen on the iPad.
Parallels Access places both traditional programs and the new-style Start-screen touch apps together in the Launcher for Windows 8, so you needn’t to switch modes. On the Mac, if you are using Parallels Desktop to run Windows programs side by side with Mac programs, both types of programs show up on the Launcher and can be used remotely.
1. Preserves full functionality to switch among open apps and windows on the computer at the iPad’s resolution.
2. Makes desktop applications behave like iOS apps.
3. Desktop keyboard shows up as long as you need it.
4. Starts any desktop application on Windows or Mac as if it was made for an iPad.
5. Retains certain native iOS conventions like copy, paste, swipe and scroll.
6. A tap-and-hold magnifying glass helps you squeeze more functionality out of your clumsy fingers.
1. Parallels Access works with low bandwidth
2. It works over both Wi-Fi and cellular connections.
3. Parallels Access supports multiple windows per desktop app
1. Shows a slight but perceptible reduction in responsiveness compared to the native app experience.
2. Costs a hefty $80 per computer per year.
3. Can’t transfer a file directly from computer to iPad (via email program or file-sharing service like Dropbox).
4. Usability was more of a challenge. Windows version needs improvement.
5. Drawing programs were completely out of luck.
6. It doesn’t work on Android tablet.