Parallels Access was already a good option for iPad users who wanted to remotely access their desktop Mac or PC. Now, with the release of Parallels Access 2.0, the app is available for iPhone, as well as Android smartphones and tablets. The revamped app retains all the functionality of the original iPad version, but expands the list of compatible devices.
Like any good remote desktop app, Parallels Access acts as a direct portal back to your desktop workstation, allowing you to access your work computer from your smartphone or tablet. To get it to work, you must install the app on your mobile device, and install an agent program on your desktop computer.
Parallels Access stands out from other remote desktop apps by including the option to "applify" your desktop programs. Once your mobile device is linked with your computer, you'll be able to select and launch full programs like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop or other desktop programs on your phone or tablet as if they were mobile apps, without launching the full remote desktop environment.
The updated Parallels Access app also includes some all-new functionality. For example, the new "wake on LAN" feature lets you attempt to remotely wake up your work computer. That's important because you can't remotely access a computer that's in sleep mode. Another new feature lets you mute the speakers and black out the screen of your work machine when you're remotely accessing your desktop, to stop bystanders from unintentionally viewing your work activity.
For $20 per year, Parallels Access 2.0 gives you access to up to five computers from an unlimited number of Android or iOS devices. For $50 per year, business subscribers can add administrator features and multiuser capabilities for five computers, and companies can expand their access by purchasing additional five-computer licenses.