On the surface this is a good move for Windows users as it means they can access their legacy applications on their choice of mobile device while they engage in the inevitable process of upgrading their underlying technologies to support the rapidly transforming digital workplace.
The free upgrade (free to any current Parallels subscriber) will be of particular benefit anyone who needs access to Windows applications who also owns a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as it makes full use of the larger screen and provides other useful improvements, including:
- 3D Touch support (also for compatible iPhones)
- Apple Pencil support
- Folders on the App Launcher
- Support for cursor movement using the on-screen keyboard as a trackpad (in OS 9)
- Support for Windows 10 Tablet Mode
Parallels Access subscribers can remotely access Mac or Windows PCs through a Web browser and your choice of tablet. It means users can interact with apps hosted on their computers in the same way as they access apps on their iPad Pro – using familiar gestures such as touch, a pencil, or keyboards
How it works
The way Parallels Access works is when you use the software you get to choose between three different resolutions: Best for your Device; More Space; Same as Computer. The new update also hosts a more natural seeming Windows 10 Tablet Mode when using the OS on a tablet without a mouse or keyboard.
Gamers may also like the release, as it enables them to play their favorite Windows or OS X games using an iPad Pro, touching the screen to fire. Support for function keys and other similar characters used in games have also been folded inside the release.
The perfect transition solution
It is open to question if a solution like Parallels Access will be enough to help professional users fully embrace the iPad Pro, but there has to be a good chance, after all, the notion that you can enjoy complete access to your Windows PCs and Macs using the built in 4G of your iPad Pro while on the road has to be attractive, if only to reduce the amount of baggage you need to carry with you in transit.
That benefit is likely to be even more attractive to remote workers in the field, who can now get access to even legacy enterprise applications using their iPad, while also enjoying all the other benefits of the platform. Tim Cook often calls iPad Pro, “a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.” Parallels Access seems likely to support this claim.
WWDC and the future of Macs
Apple will host WWDC 2016 next month, when, among other highlights (including new OS software and Mac OS X, Apple Music and an improved Apple Watch), the company is likely to drop some hints as to what to expect in its next generation A-series six-core processors. These chips will be capable of supporting desktop-class performance inside a mobile device, and this means future iterations of all Apple’s mobile products will become capable of handling increasingly sophisticated applications, further blurring the line between PC and mobile device.
Where we are now in this transition, solutions like Parallels Access appears to provide a good bridge between legacy and mobile solutions, which may be all some users need to maintain the best of both worlds while they await the best time to invest in new hardware.
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