Sunday, September 08, 2013

Access Your Stuff with Parallels Access

Parallels Access screenshot

Parallels Access is the coolest new program for your iPad and your Mac or Windows computer! It allows you to work with all of the programs that are on your computer on your iPad! Parallels calls it "applifying", since the programs run full screen on the iPad, but also allow you to use tapping, pinching, swiping, and scrolling as if you were using an iPad app! When tapping, the taps are right on, even on the iPad Mini!

There is also an application switcher built-in to the interface that allows you to move back and forth among the programs you are using on your PC from your iPad. And, when copying from a desktop app on your iPad, you can paste the text into a native iPad app! The on-screen keyboard shows up when needed if you want to type in the app on the desktop. There is even a drag-and-drop function! On the Mac, I liken it to screen-sharing between two of my computes, but this works between the iPad and my computer!

Take a look at a quick screencast I made from the iPad running the Parallels Access Program.


9/1/13: I also had a geek-out session due to a Tweet from @AmandaDoyleTA. I connected my laptop and the iPad via ParallelsAccess, AirPlayed the iPad to my desktop, and was able to record the iPad playing a Flash video from the laptop using Reflector on the desktop. Here is a little clip from the Dante's Inferno (tech version) Flash project.

The Parallels Access solution has two components. There is an app you install on your iPad (Parallels Access) and it has a 14-day trial. There is then an agent you install on each of the computers you want to access from the iPad. There is a Mac version and a beta Windows version at this time.

You create an account, and connect the iPad app and the desktop. The devices see each other over the Internet, so you will need to leave your computer on (and the agent running) for Parallels Access to work.

The Parallels Access subscription cost is for each desktop you want to access, so think carefully about the desktop you want to access. Of course, you can always add additional subscriptions if you want to be able to access multiple computers from the same iPad. Parallels is working on a pricing model for schools and colleges, so watch for that, too!

During September 2013, Parallels gave me five year-long subscription licenses for Parallels Access to give away to K-16 educators!

Here are some of the ideas that were submitted:
  • I would use Parallels Access to demo our subscription to Questia to our 9th grade students, who are piloting an iPad program for us.
  • Finally! Teachers and students can use Parallels Access to access (!) Flash content on the iPad. This is amazing!
  •  I provide Ed Tech and Assistive Technology support to students with disabilities. Typically they require specialized software that does not have an iPad equivalent. I will be using this to provide access to the tools they need to be successful.

Have any other thoughts or ideas? Email me or find me on Twitter @kathyschrock