Parallels Access 2.5
Accessing your Mac’s apps and files on your mobile just got even easier
Parallels Access takes an innovative approach to the problem of accessing your Mac remotely using your iPhone and iPad. Rather than dump you at the desktop, you’re given a Mission Control-like selection screen for quickly accessing your apps. Tap one, and your Mac’s desktop is scaled down to neatly fit your mobile display, while control is achieved through a series of gestures, taps and an on-screen keyboard.
Version 2.5 is optimised for the new, bigger iPhone 6 screens, plus allows you to choose whether to output audio on your Mac rather than your mobile. Its big new feature, though, is a Universal File Manager, which replaces the rather limited file-transfer tool of previous versions. The manager makes it much easier to browse files on your Mac – you can now preview most formats before choosing to open them in your app of choice. Look out too for the new ‘Use offline’ option – tap this to transfer the selected files to your iPhone or iPad, allowing you to edit them directly on your mobile.
The file manager also allows you to connect to Dropbox and Google Drive, making it easy to transfer files from your Mac to the cloud. You can’t open files directly, but you can copy them elsewhere for editing. Hopefully more services will be added in an update. For now, you can also import files from iCloud and OneDrive to your iPad and iPhone, then transfer them to your Mac before editing. It’s all a little convoluted, but better than nothing.
While you can now also access your Mac desktop through another computer via a web browser using Parallels Access, it’s primarily a remote control app for mobiles – and one of the most innovative and user-friendly tools at that. Nick Peers
Improvements to the file manager have made Parallels Access 2.5 a must-have update for both iPhone and iPad.