iPhone App Runs MS Windows on a Mac, by Remote

Dennis Faas's picture

A new application allows owners of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch to run Windows on their portable devices. The catch is that they'll need a Mac computer running an $80 program to do so, though users of previous editions can upgrade for a smaller fee.

The program in question is the recently released Parallels Desktop version 6. It's virtualization software, which means that users can set their Mac up to act as if it were a PC. This then allows them to install and run a copy of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, though technically they'll need the appropriate Microsoft license to do so: for legal purposes, the Mac is counted as a PC.

Mac to Windows: Reboot Not Necessary

The main advantage of this method, as opposed to other ways of running Windows or Windows applications on a Mac, is that there's no need to reboot the computer to switch between the two.

Instead, the user simply runs their Mac operating system as usual. When the Parallels software is launched, this opens a window that contains the same content as a Windows computer. The user can then run one or more Windows applications within the Mac desktop screen, just as if it was seemingly integrated on a PC.

System Handy For All Types of Users

While it's by no means for everyone, there are several types of people that could benefit from the software, including people who own both types of machine, people who've switched from PC to Mac but still want to run their old applications, people who need to run Windows applications occasionally, and people who want to play Windows-only games.

The real eye-catcher with the new edition, however, is the release of a free app for Apple's portable devices that allows the user to access their Mac and Windows-based software on their desktop remotely. While this was already available in a limited form in the iPhone, it wasn't that attractive given the small screen size.

That may change with the release of the iPad app. The new app also works automatically as long as the Mac is switched on and online, and the Parallels app running, without the need to set up a special connection to the mobile device. (Source: cnet.com)

As well as running Windows programs, the app even allows the user to run Adobe Flash (for example, on websites through Internet Explorer, even though Adobe's system is banned from Apple's portable devices). That's because the iPad isn't actually running the Flash application, but rather displaying what is happening on the Mac and passing on commands. (Source: gottabemobile.com)

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