Last August, Renton-based Parallels launched Parallels Access, an iPad app that allows users to tunnel into their Mac or Windows-based PC, and then remotely use those apps on the iPad as if those apps were made for the iPad.
Today, Parallels is launching the second generation of that app, which now includes support for Android phones and tablets and for iPhones, as well as new features such as a new file browser for iOS and the ability to change screen resolution.
The Parallels Access 2.0 app is free but using the service costs $19.99 a year. That subscription allows access to up to five computers (PCs or Macs) from an unlimited number of mobile devices. A 14-day free trial is available. A 2-year subscription costs $34.99, although Parallels is offering a deal until the end of June for two years for $29.99.
Those prices are far lower than the $79.99 a year for each computer being accessed that Parallels originally set when it launched its first generation app last year. In January, it lowered that price to $49.99 a year for access to up to five computers.
Parallels is not offering a rebate to those who purchased $49.99 or $79.99 subscriptions, but is giving those purchasers an additional year of the service for free.
The company declined to say how many Parallels Access subscribers it has.
In addition, the company introduced today Parallels Access for Business, which lets corporations’ IT departments centrally assign, manage and secure remote access to their computers. Parallels Access for Business costs $49.99 a year for access to five computers from an unlimited number of devices. Companies can try it for free until July 31.
When the first generation of Parallels Access came out, Microsoft’s Office for iPad had not yet launched and it was a selling point for Parallels Access that people could use as a way of getting Office on their iPads.
John Uppendahl, a Parallels spokesman, said the demand for Office for iPad, which launched in March, shows that people want to use their tablets as production, not just consumption, devices.
But, he pointed out, Office is not yet available for Android devices, and subscriptions to Office 365 — which is required to edit documents via Office for iPad — costs more than the Parallels Access subscription. (Office 365 subscriptions start at $69.99 a year.)