Parallels Access: Remote PC access for your iPad, with an app-centric twist
August 28, 2013
How do you bridge the gap between desktop and mobile? It seems like every computing company has a different answer. Some think cloud services are the answer, while others want to make devices that act like both a tablet and a PC. But there's also the old standard of logging onto your own PC remotely. Parallels, maker of the popular Mac virtualization software of the same name, just launched an iPad app that tries to make remotely-accessed PC apps feel more like native mobile apps.
The service, Parallels Access, aims high by trying to take the desktop out of the remote desktop. It isolates your PC or Mac apps, presenting them full screen, with their own icons. The goal is for them to behave almost as if they were native iPad apps.
Parallels Access gives you quick access to an app launcher, full of icons for all of your desktop apps. Like a lot of remote access apps, a two-fingered tap translates to a right-click, and dragging your finger translates to a scroll.
Text selection functions just like native iPad text selection, and you can even copy and paste back and forth between your remote PC and your iPad. You can also hold your finger on the screen to maginify what you're looking at. There's even a multitasking switcher, so you can quickly switch between running PC apps while on your iPad. The company threw in a lot of tiny details like this that try to minimize the annoyances of other remote desktop apps.
The price isn't right?
Parallels Access is easily one of the most ambitious remote desktop apps we've seen, and it makes a strong case for the blending of desktop and mobile, without requiring you to buy a convergent device like the Surface Pro.
But unfortunately, Parallels Access comes at a very steep price. It costs US$80 per year, per PC. That's a very high price of admission, especially considering there are many similar apps that cost either nothing or next to nothing. If you want to control two PCs, you're going to pay $160 per year, just for the privilege of using Parallels' software to control them.
If you want to see if Parallels Access is worth the hefty price tag, you can download the app from the App Store, sign up for a free trial, and learn more at the source link below.