Parallels has launched an updated version of its Access tool that lets users remotely access full-blown desktop software from an iPad, extending support to iPhone and Android devices. Also new is the ability for organisations to centrally manage access to work computers.
Available now, the updated Parallels Access delivers a number of tweaks and enhancements for a better remote experience compared with the original version. However, the most significant feature is support for Android phones and tablets, as well as the iPhone, as endpoint access devices.
Parallels Access enables a user to hook up remotely to their Mac or Windows PC and access key applications available on that system – such as Microsoft Office – from their mobile device.
However, a key differentiator between this and other remote-screen tools is that it offers an optimised view of the application, providing support for touchscreen gestures, for example.
"Parallels Access received a tremendously positive reception from iPad users, and now we are extending our solution to millions of Android and iPhone users. While traditional remote desktop products are trying to show a large desktop on a small mobile device, we worked hard to make remote access from mobile devices a truly simple and effective experience," said Parallels president Jack Zubarev.
In addition, the firm has introduced Parallels Access for Business, which enables IT administrators to centrally manage how Parallels Access is used by employees. This includes granting or restricting access and reassigning accounts as needed, according to Parallels. Subscriptions for Parallels Access for Business start at £34 per year.
Other new features in this release include the ability to launch a remote application directly from the home screen of an Android device, a new file browser that lets iOS users quickly browse and open files on their remote system, and the ability to change screen resolution for the best fit on different types of devices.
Parallels Access requires host agent software to be installed on the target Mac or PC. Supported operating systems are Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and OS X 10.7 up to OS X Mavericks. It also requires the host system to be left powered on in order for the user to access applications remotely.
On the endpoint side, Parallels Access supports most devices running Android 4.0 or later. It also supports the iPad Mini and iPad 2 or later running iOS 7, and iPhone 4S or later running iOS 7.
The endpoint software can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store and Google Play with a two-week free trial. After this, subscriptions are available starting at £13.99 for one year, which covers access to up to five remote computers from an unlimited number of mobile devices.
Parallels is offering discounts on both Parallels Access and Parallels Access for Business for a limited period.
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