Parallels offers virtualization software that lets you install Windows on a Mac — and run Windows apps without rebooting your computer. The latest version is Parellels Desktop 6 for Mac, and it comes with a bonus feature: a free iOS app that lets you remotely control Parallels on your Mac from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

I got a chance to check out a demo last night, and the software seems to work as promised. If Parallels and Windows apps are running on your Mac, you can control them on an iPad. This means you can essentially edit Microsoft Office documents on the couch using your iPad instead of your Mac, or do just about anything else — including surfing the web with Adobe Flash enabled using a Windows browser on your iPad.

I asked how Flash video looked when using Parallels Mobile, and I was surprised to see that it didn’t look that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to watch a movie on an iPad using Parallels Mobile, but if you just need to take a quick look at a video for some reason, it’ll do in a pinch.

Of course, the down side of Parallels Mobile, like any mobile remote desktop software (including TeamViewer or LogMeIn), is that it’s not much use unless you leave your primary computer on all the time. But since Parallels Mobile is free for users who have already installed Parallels Desktop 6 on their Mac, it’s a nice little bonus feature.

You can check out a demo video of Parallels Mobile on the iPad after the break. The app is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store.

Oh yeah, and the company gave me a boxed copy of Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac to give away to a reader. The software normally runs $79.99, but if you want a chance to win a free copy just leave a comment below.  I’ll pick a random winner at the conclusion of the contest. More details after the break.

Update: The contest has now ended.

Leave a comment for a chance to win

This contest will run through 12:00AM Monday, September 20th and is open to anyone in the US. Sorry, I’m footing the bill for shipping and don’t feel like shipping this one internationally.

Parallels also offers a 14 day free trial if you want to check out the desktop software without paying $80 or waiting to see if you’ve won the giveaway.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

33 replies on “Parallels launches iOS app that lets you control PC apps… running on your Mac”

  1. I have had it, had it, had it with MS operating systems. My sons have been pushing me to go Mac (already changed from Crackberry to Iphone …luv ut) and I just did not want to go through the hoops to convert everything. Then last night my XP Windows froze and will not boot. Tried all of the suggested magic and nope nada. Off to the repair shop to retrieve all biz doc and QB. Writing to you on a MacBook and never looking back. My version of QB only runs on Windows so this would be perfect.


  2. I’ll take it! Seems like Parallels clearly beats Fusion these days, but I already sunk the money on VMWare and have a hard time paying again so soon for a similar solution. Sigh.

  3. this is would be so useful for college. i have to use my friends pc for one of my classes maybe this can take the burden off him..

  4. Running windows on a mac would be helpful – no more waiting for a company to develop a mac version of its latest and greatest windows-based software! Thank you for the above information! I hope that the winner will share impressions of the software with all of us!

  5. Haven’t used Parallels in years, got my boxed 1.0 copy still. But heard good things about the later versions of it. I’ll check out to the demo.

  6. I haven’t used Parallels since the earlier versions, and switched over to VMWare Fusion. But been hearing good things about the newer versions of Parallels so I’ll check out the demo.

  7. I demo’d Parallels one time, but I already have VM Fusion and although it seemed somewhat faster than Fusion, it wasn’t enough to warrant a purchase from me. For free, though, I’ll take it!

  8. You can keep Parallels 6. Using latest iMac with latest Snow Leopard and I don’t see any improvement over previous version. In fact it seems slower to me. Getting the mobile app to run properly required 2 calls to customer service. Seems very buggy.

    1. What were the issues you had to get the app running and how did you resolve them? My only problem historically with Parallels is that every time they come out with a new version they create a whole set of new bugs so that you typically have to wait for two or three updates before you get something stable. Then when it finally gets stable – like the last version of 5x, they come out with a new version.

      Your speed comment sounds typical. On man of their new versions it seems the improved performance only comes if you build a whole new, clean VM – which of course few want to do.

      But if you have an iPhone – would be interested to hear how that works

  9. Sounds good. I’m an enthusiastic user of all 1.x – 5.x versions of Parallels and am looking forward to trying this out. I can see how it would work on the iPad, but am a bit skeptical about how well it will work on the iPhone – which is where I want it.

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