Despite being a very happy VMware Fusion user for few years now, the new release of Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac caught my eye – as I mentioned last week. One of the main reasons it did is that it has a free companion Parallels Mobile app for the iPad and iOS devices.
Last week I got a chance to install Parallels Desktop 6 on my Macbook Pro and Parallels Mobile on my iPad, and to try out controlling my Windows 7 virtual machine on my Mac from the iPad. My main goal with this was to be able to use my favorite blogging app – Windows Live Writer – from the iPad.
Windows Live Writer (WLW) is the main reason I still run a Windows VM on my MacBook, as I just cannot find a Mac app that even comes close to matching it – and I’ve tried quite a few (MarsEdit, Blogo, Ecto, and a few others).
And … I am very happy to say that I was able to throw a post up (to Just Another iPhone Blog) pretty easily on my first attempt at doing so with Parallels Mobile and WLW on the remote VM.
Controls and navigation are mostly quite good on the Parallels Mobile app, and the on-screen reminders and help (for which taps and gestures accomplish which action etc) are very good.
The biggest difficulty I encountered was being able to see the lines I was typing on as my post grew longer, while still showing the virtual keyboard. This required more scrolling and messing around than I would have liked, but it was just about manageable.
Over the last few days I’ve also successfully tried out connecting to my VM over 3G connections from Parallels Mobile – and again had success.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with Parallels Mobile so far. I’ve used a number of remote access apps in the past – many of them very good – but none that let me work with the guest OS (my Windows 7 VM) on the Mac effectively. Parallels Mobile is made to do just that, so it’s a very handy tool for me now.
Parallels Mobile is a free app that you can find in the App Store now. Of course you’ll also need Parallels Desktop 6 (the new and current version) which goes for $79.99 and offers a free 14-day trial – you can get more details on it here: