Holidays with the Pets & Parallels Access

The semester is over! I’m finally home for my last break as a “kid.” Between eating real home-cooked food and doing my Christmas shopping, I need to squeeze in some work for my internship and my next semester of classes...which starts far too soon. 

So what’s the best way to work without being stuck behind your laptop? On your iPad, of course!

Convincing your four-legged friend to leave you alone can be a challenge—and you can’t really prop up your laptop on the family cat. Luckily, though, he does make a pretty nice iPad stand. Plus, with Parallels Access, working on your tablet is easy.

Happy Monday! Anyone else use #ParallelsAccess to work from home?

A photo posted by Parallels (@parallelsdesktop) on

There’s no question I’m a dog person, but sometimes a cat is exactly what you need to get the job done.


Be sci-fi-worthy. With Parallels Access, you can access anything, anywhere. Start your free trial today!

Offbeat Gifts for Techies: A Procrastinator's Guide

Featured images courtesy of basis, petcube, and phorce.

Featured images courtesy of basis, petcube, and phorce.

Holiday shopping can be nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the obsessive techie in your life. Chances are that person is up to speed on the latest and greatest phones, tablets, and gadgets, but the well runs much deeper. Sometimes it pays to look a bit off the beaten path.

In case you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few last-minute ideas.

For the Health Nut:
Basis Peak ($200)

Help that special someone get a jump on New Year’s resolutions with the Peak. This elegant, waterproof smart watch monitors your heart rate around the clock and tracks motion, giving you comprehensive feedback on your sleep quality, daily activity, and fitness. It may not match Jawbone or Fitbit for buzz, but it’s reportedly the best of the bunch at accurate monitoring.

The Basis Peak—the most accurate wearable on the market for heart rate and sleep data. Image courtesy of Basis.

The Basis Peakthe most accurate wearable on the market for heart rate and sleep data. Image courtesy of Basis.

For the Stylish Audiophile: 
Boom Swap Headphones ($70)

These colorful, customizable headphones are billed as “fully interchangeable” and “virtually indestructible.” Each pair comes with extra ear caps and a head pad in different colors, plus over-ear pads, so you can swap out the components to match your mood, outfit, or listening environment.

For the Aspiring Videographer: 
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition ($300)

Don’t look now, but it’s time to hop on the drone bandwagon. There was no shortage of amazing drone-shot videos in 2014, from buzzing through Alaskan ice caves to an incredible tour of modern-day Pripyat. Personal drone use is on the rise, and we expect it keep growing in the new year. Just be sure to follow FAA regulations (e.g., use common sense—no drones near an airport), and beware of angry wildlife

For the Pet Lover: 
Petcube ($200)

This tiny, iPhone-connected cube is equipped with a camera, motion sensors, and a laser toy, allowing pet owners to watch over and interact with their fuzzy pals when they’re away from home. Not only does Petcube give you the ability to send your cat leaping up the wall with a laser during your lunch break, but the company behind it also partners with U.S. animal shelters to help boost adoption rates. Important note: Petcube can be preordered now, but it won’t start shipping until January.

Petcube: Go ahead, make fluffy chase that laser pointer on your lunch break. Image courtesy of Petcube.

Petcube: Go ahead, make fluffy chase that laser pointer on your lunch break. Image courtesy of Petcube.

For the Caffeine Addict: 
Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker with WeMo ($150)

The worst part of waking up is getting out of bed to start the coffee. Sure, most coffee makers come equipped with a timer, but the Internet of Things is taking convenience to the next level. This model lets you monitor brew status via smart phone or tablet from the comfort of your bed, and the WeMo app allows you to configure several weeks’ worth of brew times at once, then make adjustments on the fly. 

For the Savvy Business Traveler: 
The Phorce Freedom Smart Bag ($200)

The Optimus Prime of productivity bags, this stylish satchel transforms from backpack to messenger bag to briefcase, and it comes equipped with a battery powerful enough to charge a laptop fully or recharge your iPhone up to 14 times. The weatherproof Phorce is also equipped with Bluetooth and an app showing you how much battery power remains and how many different devices you can charge. And if you accidentally leave the bag somewhere, your phone can locate it easily—provided you kept it charged. 

The Phorce Freedom Smart Bag, an ideal gift for the workaholic on the go. Image courtesy of Phorce.

The Phorce Freedom Smart Bag, an ideal gift for the workaholic on the go. Image courtesy of Phorce.

For the Productivity Hacker: 
Logitech Multi Device Keyboard ($40)

Know somebody with too many devices? This Bluetooth-enabled keyboard works with any Windows or Mac smartphone or tablet, letting you sync to and switch between up to three devices at once. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for a business traveler, nomad programmer, or anyone who regularly works remotely. 

 

To make on-the-go work even easier, arm your favorite road warrior with a subscription to Parallels Access. Parallels Access enables users to access their home or work computers from their mobile device while making all those desktop applications run like native mobile apps.

What are your tech-obsessed loved ones asking for this year? Share your best offbeat ideas in the comments, or tweet them at us @ParallelsAccess!


Be sci-fi-worthy. With Parallels Access, you can access anything, anywhere. Start your free trial today!

The History of Cell Phones in One Infographic

While it may not be Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday yet (should we try to start a new social media trend, #MemoriesMonday?), it’s always fun to indulge in a little nostalgia—especially when it comes to technology, which moves like the Millenium Falcon making the Kessel Run.

Here’s what we’re waxing nostalgic over: an awesome infographic from The Next Web detailing three decades of mobile phones. If you had already forgotten gems like Zack Morris’ massive block phone in Saved by the Bell, you’re in for a treat. 

Though the infographic was published last year—meaning it doesn’t include some more recent releases, such as the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge—it still offers a remarkable perspective on the past 30+ years of mobile technology:

Infographic courtesy of The Next Web.

Infographic courtesy of The Next Web.

Which blast-from-the-past device is your favorite? (Personally, I’m partial to the Nokia 5110—pretty sure my mom rocked one of those until I was in high school.)


Be sci-fi-worthy. With Parallels Access, you can access anything, anywhere. Start your free trial today!

Take Your iPhone to the Big Screen with OS X Yosemite

If you don’t already follow David Pogue’s video series Pogue’s Basics, you’re missing out on a fun and informative source of tips and tricks about technology.

Our Android friends have long had the ability to plug their phones and tablets into a computer and project what’s on the device. You can even make a movie—handy for those times when you’re trying to explain to your mom or a friend how to do something on a mobile device. Rather than talk them through it, just send a quick video.

With OS X Yosemite, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, iOS users can do this easily as well! No more third-party software needed, such as Reflector—now you can plug in using QuickTime. This new functionality makes it easy to show a cool app to a group, make a simple how-to video, and do just about anything else.

For a tutorial on this new iOS feature, watch David Pogue’s video

Click on the image to watch. Screenshot courtesy of Yahoo! Tech.

Click on the image to watch. Screenshot courtesy of Yahoo! Tech.

OK, iOS fans—what will you do with your new skills?


Join the ranks of sci-fi-level access today. With Parallels Access, you can access anything, anywhere. Start your free trial today!

Holiday Shopping Made Easier: Google’s Enhanced Mobile Search

I have a confession: My favorite iPhone app (second to Parallels Access, of course!) isn’t something sexy or cool like Instagram, Evernote, or Pinterest—it’s Google Search.

What can I say? I’m one of those people who Googles anything and everything constantly, whether it’s the name of that guest star on whatever show I’m binge-watching on Netflix or where to find the best breakfast burrito in Seattle. In addition to being my favorite, Google Search is probably the app I use most. I’m a big fan of function and form, and Google does both very well.

If you haven’t downloaded the Google Search app yet, you may want to now—especially if, like me, you’ve yet to get all your holiday shopping done. Need more motivation? Google updated its search engine right before Black Friday to optimize the user experience for smartphones and tablets. 

New features include extra information in product searches, such as user reviews and where an item is available, all accessible without having to hop into Google’s Shopping tab. That alone warrants a Matthew McConaughey “Alright alright alright” from power users.

Gif courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

Gif courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

Another very sleek feature is the option to view some products using a new 3-D, 360-degree rotation tool. See it in action below after searching for Google’s Nexus devices:

Gif courtesy of Mashable.

Gif courtesy of Mashable.

Best of all, these added features will pop up during a regular search, so they’re the epitome of user-friendliness. Considering that shoppers are still “showrooming” in spades, this is a well-timed release from Google—multitasking during the holiday season just got a whole lot easier.


Don't fuss with pen and paperjust cross items off of your holiday gift list using Parallels Access! With Parallels Access, you can access anything, anywhere. Start your free trial today!