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.
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.