Black Friday Ultimate Bundle: Save More Than 78% on Essential Mac Apps

Our tradition of offering the best Black Friday software bundle for Mac enthusiasts continues this year with mega savings! Want $365 worth of the best Mac apps for a fraction of the price this Black Friday? Buy or upgrade to the full version of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac to get our ultimate Mac app bundle.

Check out the bundle now!

Savings with a Full License Purchase OR an Upgrade

Whether you’re already a member of the Parallels family or have yet to try out the #1 choice of Mac users for more than eight years, we have a bundle for you! Choose the option that best fits your needs: a new full license of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, our add-on bundle if you already have the current version of Parallels Desktop, or an upgrade if you’re using a previous version.

Still on the fence about saving more than 78% off retail prices for the best Mac apps? Here are seven reasons why this ultimate bundle will make your life better:

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1) Run Windows on your Mac. The latest version of Parallels Desktop for Mac, Parallels Desktop 10, is 50% faster, features more OS integration, and extends battery life up to 30%! Enhanced and optimized for OS X Yosemite, Parallels Desktop 10 lets you experience the freedom of running Windows on your Mac without a restart.

 

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2) Fall in love with 24/7 desktop access. All bundle options include Parallels Access, the fastest and most reliable remote access app for mobile devices. Leave the laptop behind when you’re on the move. (Or on the couch—we won’t tell.)

 

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3) Password management made easy. Never lose track of those finicky passwords with 1Password, which offers secure passwords and more: It’s a 21st-century digital wallet on any device.

 

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4) Record your screen with ease. Camtasia provides an easy-to-use screen recorder that will make you look like a video pro.

 

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5) Get a good night’s sleep. With Acronis True Image for Mac, there’s no need to worry about losing valuable files on your local machine.

 

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6) Everything in its place. Keep your Mac clean, organized, and free of files that slow it down with CleanMyMac 2.

 

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7) Make sure you’re running at optimal speed. Duplicate files can bloat your system’s storage. Find and remove them with Gemini.

 

This offer expires November 28, 2014—act now to take advantage of the season’s best software bundles for Mac enthusiasts!

Last Week in Tech, Today

This week in tech we're going to look at a gadget that would be classified as an "Internet of Things" device, the most advanced smartwatch yet, and a new way to make mobile payments. Let’s get started!

Hey Alexa, can you hear me now?

Back on November 6th Amazon announced something called the Amazon Echo. Upon first examination, this device looked like nothing more than a cylinder speaker with a glowing blue ring on the top and that familiar Amazon smile logo. Its tag line: “Always ready, connected, and fast”. When I first read that, I have to be honest—this device was not the first thing that came to my mind. 

According to Amazon, the smart device is capable of providing information, weather, music, news and much more, all controlled by your voice, and “always ready” by being directly connected to the cloud. Amazon also claims that it has voice recognition that can hear you from across the room. With all that on paper, I had to bite, but the question remained: what the heck is this thing, exactly? 

Apparently, even Amazon has trouble telling people exactly what Echo does, so they created this hokey video of an “Amazon family” with the Echo firmly at the center of their lives:

When the Echo was announced, you had to request the privilege of buying one, and if selected you would get a special invitea.k.a. the Golden Ticket to the Amazon candy store! Well as luck would have it I got one! So order it I did, and while it has not arrived yet today, I will be doing a review on Tuesday so please be sure to check back.

The Samsung Gear S, a standalone smartwatch. Well, almost.

Early this week the Samsung Gear S watch finally made its appearance in retail, aptly timed with the Galaxy Note Edge phone (which was released on November 14th). The watch uses Samsung’s new bendable super AMOLED displays with high-contrast brightness and gorgeous colors even out in the sun. The watch is loaded with features such as a heart monitor, every sensor you can image, 512MB of RAM, and a dual-core processor.

Image courtesy of TechRadar.

Image courtesy of TechRadar.

With the large, curved screen, this smartwatch clearly takes the prize for the 'phablet' of smartwatch category. That’s not really a slam on the Gear S, because if you have average to large hands and wrists this device fits and looks very nice. In wearing this device, it is somewhat thick, which makes me wonder how this will look compared to the Apple Watch when that ships sometime early next year. 

The breakaway feature for this watch is that it can operate as a standalone cellular device, meaning it has its own cellular radio in it. The downside is that you will need yet another phone line charge on your mobile share plan with a carrier such as AT&T. The Gear S is priced at $300 and that cell phone plan will cost you an extra $10 per month (at least) with AT&T, which is really not bad when you compare it to the cost of a cellular iPad Air 2.

While I genuinely like this smartwatch and the idea of having a watch that does not require my smartphone, I believe Samsung made a critical flaw with it. While it has all of the notifications for Twitter, Facebook and other apps, unless you have your Galaxy phone with you the Gear S will not give you any of those cool features.

So, yes, I can tell time, receive SMS messages, and make phone calls, but it’s just not enough...at least for me. While I applaud Samsung for this solid next step in the move here with Gear S, we're still not quite there yet in my mind. If you’ve seen the Gear S in person or even purchased one, I would love to get your perspective in a comment below.

Send cash in a snap!

Remember Snapchat, the (Android or iPhone) app that allows you to snap a photo and send it to friends and they can only see it for a few seconds? Earlier this week the makers of SnapChat incorporated an interesting new feature called Snapcash. This is how it works: instead of sending a picture or message you type in a dollar amount and the icon onscreen turns into a dollar icon—think Monopoly money icon. Watch the video below—not only will it give you an idea of how this new feature works, but the production value makes it an instant classic:

How's Snapchat gonna pull it off? Easy—through a partnership with the online and mobile merchant system called Square. While it’s unclear if there are any fees being incurred either on the person giving or receiving, it represents yet another very interesting trend in the movement towards mobile payments.


Well, those are some of the more interesting highlights in tech this week! Please be sure to leave your comments below and please feel free to follow me online @SkeeterHarris.


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How to Talk to Your Parents (Or Grandparents) About Tech

Happy Throwback Thursday! This week, we’re looking forward as well as flashing back…how, you ask? By teaching you how to talk to your parents (or grandparents) about tech. 

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post.

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post.

While there are plenty of tech-savvy mature audiences out there, the truth is, as we get older, we tend to get stuck in our ways a little bit. Whether or not that means getting used to a certain routine or having a little more trouble adopting the latest and greatest device, sometimes, it’s good to switch things up. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean all older generations need to purchase every new smartphone or trade shots on Snapchat if they don’t want to. (You know what they say: everything in moderation.) Instead, the value of a little introduction to more current technology is the same as it would be for anyone of any age: the tool (or tools) can enrich older people’s lives when it comes to keeping in touch with family, friends, or doing the things they like by making them, well, easier

So, without further ado, here are our top three tips on how to teach your less-than-tech-savvy elders about technology—you’ll be able to navigate that Thanksgiving dinner discussing Black Friday deals, no problem:

1. Make it relevant & useful.

My grandparents own a Wii. Yes, a Wii. How did they come by said device? Simple: us grandchildren (eight in all) bought it for them in an attempt to both A) get a game console we could all play at Grandma’s house and B) get them moving a little bit more. Our mission prevailed! How? Simple—our grandparents played Wii Sports and other active games on the console because it allowed them to spend more time doing things with us that we could all enjoy.

Bottom line: if you can show them how the technology will help them accomplish their goals—in the case of my grandparents, spending more time with their grandkids and being more active—they’ll be much more likely to jump right in. 

2. Make it simple.

This one kinds of spells itself out. Don’t overcomplicate your explanations, just communicate why you think this device or piece of tech would benefit them.

3.  Make it appealing.

One word: function. Of course the device can be beautiful and easy to use (in fact, it should be), but above all else, it should appeal to your parents’ or grandparents’ practicality, and offer something tangible to their everyday (or nearly every day) lives. Let it solve the problem they’re looking for an answer for.

What about you? Have you discussed technology with your parents and grandparents? Tell us your technology story in a comment!


Ease of use is important, no matter how old you are. That’s why we think you’ll love Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, the #1 choice of Mac users for over 8 years. Try Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Free for 14 days! Start your free trial now!

#SDC2014 Highlights: “Internet of Things” Data Points and the “Enterprise of Everything”

Parallels Vice President of Communications John Uppendahl recently attended the sold out Samsung Developers Conference 2014, witnessing the following highlights and snapping a few shots of the goings-on! Scroll below to see highlights from the big event:

The Samsung Developers Conference 2014 (#SDC2014) featured executive keynotes that revealed more about the company’s vision for “The Internet of Things” and the “Enterprise of Everything”. 

“Samsung Electronics president Won-Pyo Hong stressed only an open platform will enable developers and manufacturers to innovate faster and better,” reported ZDNet.

“Hong elaborated on Samsung's view for connected livingwhich he clarified as the Internet of Things, explaining this spectrum spans billions of connected devices from wearables to cars to home appliances. He cited the global wearable market will grow from 22 million devices shipped in 2014 to 135 million by 2018.”

Robin Bienfait, Samsung's Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, speaking to attendees.

Robin Bienfait, Samsung's Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, speaking to attendees.

“Robin Bienfait, Samsung's Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, elaborated on Samsung's investment on what she referred to as the ‘Enterprise of Everything,’ a connected work environment incorporating business intelligence, automation of products and services, and extended IT control.”

"’When you think about the enterprise, you have to think in a big way that they're a part of those connections,' Bienfait reminded developers in the audience.”

“Bienfait said the mass opportunity presented by wearables, such as mobile banking to drive customer acquisition, schedule management, and another channel for face-to-face interactions between patients and caregivers.”

"Partners are part of what makes us strong," Bienfait remarked, continuing that Samsung is encouraging developers to tap into growth in the enterprise space as another way to reach consumers in the end.”

Robin Bienfait, Samsung's Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, speaking to attendees.

Robin Bienfait, Samsung's Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, speaking to attendees.

Cool exhibits at #SDC2014 included the new BMWi, pictured below, which is an all-electric car that features Samsung Gear S technology.

The new BMWi at #SDC2014.

The new BMWi at #SDC2014.

More detail on the new BMWi at #SDC2014.

More detail on the new BMWi at #SDC2014.

All in all, the conference was a smashing (and sold out) success that pointed toward Samsung’s ideal future incorporating “The Internet of Things” and the “Enterprise of Everything”. We for one can’t wait to see what comes next year!


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Are You Using the Best View?

Parallels Desktop has four different ways to view Windows on your Mac. Each way is the best for some users. Are you using the best view for you?

In this blog post, I will briefly describe the three most widely used views, list their pros and cons, and help you pick the one that will be the best for you, or the one that will work the best for you for a particular task. Switching views is so easy that it is quite reasonable to use one view for some tasks, and other views for different tasks. Picking the right view for the right task requires that you know the main characteristics of each view and their respective pros and cons.

The screenshots and description details in this blog are for Parallels Desktop 10 running on Yosemite. Earlier versions of Parallels Desktop or the Mac OS can be slightly different.

Parallels Desktop provides the following views for Windows:

  • Window view: The Windows desktop fills a window on your Mac screen. Inside this window, everything is Windows; outside everything is Mac. 
  • Full screen: Windows becomes a full screen desktop on your Mac. You can go back and forth between Windows and Mac by using Mission Control.
  • Coherence: The Windows desktop disappears, and only application windows appear on the Mac.
  • Modality: Used to monitor multiple virtual machines. So few users use the Modality view that it will not be covered in this blog.

Let’s talk about the three most used views in more detail, and list the pros and cons of each.

Window View

Figure 1 shows an example of window view in use. A Windows 7 VM is running, and it is completely contained in a Mac window named “Windows 7”. In Windows 7, Word 2013 is running and one document named “Rainfall Prediction Term Paper” is open. A Windows 7 control panel (“System”) is open and seen in a separate window inside the Windows 7 window. The Windows 7 Start menu is shown and is completely inside the Windows 7 window. On the Mac, TextEdit is running and has one window opened named “Le Petit Prince.rtf”.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Window view is used by approximately 21% of Parallels Desktop 10 users.

Window View Pros & Cons

PROS: 

  • Windows and Mac are easy to keep separated. No user confusion about which is which.
  • Drag and drop between Mac and Windows is easy to do.
  • Infrequent Windows activities (booting, updating, etc.) are easy to see. The user is never puzzled as to what is happening.

  • Status lights can be displayed, so you know what is happening in Windows. In Yosemite, these lights are in the window’s title bar, and look like the image below:

Status Lights

Status Lights

Status Lights Close-Up

Status Lights Close-Up

  • The Windows Start menu is in its “normal” location on the Start button.
  • The Windows taskbar is in its normal location, and shows running Windows applications. The date/time and other toolbars (language bar, etc.) are in their normal location.

CONS:

  • The size of application windows is constrained by the size of the main window.

Full Screen View

Figure 2 shows an example of full screen view in use, figure 3 shows Mission Control being used to switch between Windows and Mac with a gesture (a four-finger sideway swipe), and figure 4 show the Mission Control display to switch between the two Spaces.

Figure 2

Figure 2

In Figure 2, Windows 7 is running. In Windows 7, Word 2013 is running and one document named “Rainfall Prediction Term Paper” is open. A Windows 7 control panel (“System”) is open and seen in a separate window. There is no visual indication that the Mac OS is running.

Figure 2 could even be from a PC, if there was a Retina display with this screen size available for PCs. Figure 3 show a snapshot from the process of switching between the Windows and Mac Spaces, with a four-finger sideways swipe and Figure 4 shows the Mission Control display with thumbnails of the two Spaces shown.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

Full screen view is used by approximately 5% of Parallels Desktop 10 users.

Full Screen View Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Both Mac and Windows have the largest possible amounts of screen space.
  • If you happened to be viewing the Windows Space, infrequent Windows activities (booting, updating, etc.) are easy to see. The user is never puzzled as to what is happening.
  • The Windows Start menu is in its “normal” location on the Start button.

  • The Windows taskbar is in its normal location, and shows running Windows applications. The date/time and other toolbars (language bar, etc.) are in their normal location.

CONS:

  • Drag and drop between Mac and Windows is possible, but not at all obvious.
  • If you are not viewing the Windows Space, Windows activities like updating are not easy to see, yet they can affect overall system performance. This can be puzzling to the user.
  • There are no status lights for either Mac or Windows.

Coherence View

Figure 5 shows an example of Coherence view in use. In figure 5, Windows 7 is running but is not shown at all. Word 2013 is running and one document named “Rainfall Prediction Term Paper” is open. A Windows 7 control panel (“System”) is open and seen in a separate window. There is no visual indication that Windows 7 is running. TextEdit is running and has one window opened named “Le Petit Prince.rtf”. The windows of Windows apps and Mac can overlap. The windows of Windows apps act like just like the windows of Mac apps, albeit rather strange looking Mac app windows.

Figure 5

Figure 5

Figures 6a and 6b shows the two possible locations of the Windows Start Menu. Regardless of which Start Menu location is used, the Windows status icons are shown on the right side of the Mac menu bar next to the Mac menu bar extras.

Figure 6a

Figure 6a

Figure 6b

Figure 6b

Coherence view is used by approximately 73% of Parallels Desktop 10 users.

Coherence View Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • The user doesn’t have to distinguish between Mac apps and Windows apps. Just use the best app for the task at hand. Everything else will just behave as a Mac user would expect.
  • Both Mac and Windows have the largest possible amounts of screen space, but they share the same screen at the same time.
  • Notifications are used to advise the user about infrequent Windows activities (booting, updating, etc.). The user is never puzzled as to what is happening.

CONS:

  • Drag and drop between Mac and Windows is possible, but not at all obvious.
  • There are no status lights for either Mac or Windows.
  • The Windows Start menu is not in its usual location, and has two locations.
  • The Windows notification icons (Action Center, power, network access, etc.) are not in their normal location. They are at the right side of the Mac menu bar, with the other Mac Menu bar extras.

Switching Between Views

Switching between views is extremely easy, and can be done in two ways. The first way is the View menu:

View Menu

View Menu

View Menu Close-Up

View Menu Close-Up

Since the View menu is not always shown, the Parallels menu can also be used, as can be seen in Figure 7.

Figure 7

Figure 7

Lastly, in the case of Full Screen view when Windows is being shown, moving the cursor to the top edge of the Mac screen will reveal the Mac menu bar, so the Parallels menu can be accessed, as can be seen in Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8


I hope that this short overview of views in Parallels Desktop will help you choose the best view for you. While I have given the approximate percentages of view choices of Parallels Desktop users, you should let your individual working style pick the view that will be the best one for you.

What view do I use the most? I use window view. Most of the time, I like the two environments to be distinguished as much as possiblebut that's just me!


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