Parallels updated its Parallels Access app this week, bringing iPhone and Android support to the company’s remote access service. We first reviewed the Parallels Access service last fall, and found it to be a great remote desktop solution for those who frequently need to work while away from the office. While it requires a yearly fee (currently $20 for one year), the service’s ability to automatically adjust things like resolution and icon size make it highly usable on small touch screen devices.
Initially limited to the iPad, the Parallels Access app now supports the iPhone and Android phones and tablets in the new 2.0 version. Jack Zubarev, president of Parallels, explained the move in the company’s press release:
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. With this in mind, Parallels Access enables people to interact with full-featured Mac and PC apps with touch gestures just like the apps were made for their iPhone, iPad or Android device.
Other new features in Parallels Access 2.0 include:
- The ability to pass microphone support to desktop apps on the iPhone and iPad
- Manual control of screen resolution to accommodate various mobile device screen sizes
- A new file browser for iOS, letting users quickly view and open files located on their remote computer
- The ability to pin specific desktop apps to Android home screens, allowing a user to initiate a remote connection and launch the desired app with a single tap
- Facebook login integration
The Parallels Access app for iOS and Android is free, and a 14-day free trial is available. Beyond the trial period, users must subscribe to continue using the service, with one-year ($20), two-year ($30), and business ($49) options available. All plans allow access to up to five computers from an unlimited number of mobile devices.