Windows on Macbook Air: Parallels Unlocks the Power of the Ultrabook

Image courtesy of cnet.

Image courtesy of cnet.

Sleek, powerful, snappy—all describe the latest MacBook Air.

The Macbook Air has always been the darling of the powerful ultrabook category of laptops. While the debate about which ultrabook is best continues to rage on, the power and style of the newest MacBook Air are inarguable.

But there’s one thing missing from the MacBook Air that every other ultrabook features: a Windows operating system. Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac unlocks the power of Windows on MacBook Air by giving owners the best of both worlds.

Let’s look at some stats on the 2014 revision of MacBook Air (these refer to the 13-inch version, Apple’s beefiest):

Processor

  • 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz)
  • Configurable to 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz

Memory

  • 4 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 onboard
  • Configurable up to 8 GB

Storage

  • 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • Configurable to 512 GB flash storage

Battery

Built-in 54-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery means:

  • Up to 12 hours wireless web
  • Up to 12 hours of movies via iTunes
  • Up to 30 days of standby time

Size and Weight

  • Height: 0.11-0.68 inch (0.3-1.7 cm)
  • Width: 12.8 inches (32.5 cm)
  • Depth: 8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)

And there’s so much more. Consumers rarely see this combination of horsepower in such a sleek profile.

How does Windows run on MacBook Air using Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac?

Like a breeze!

The power inside the latest rev of MacBook Air is more than enough to handle the Parallels Desktop system requirements. Running Windows in a Mac OS using Parallels solutions is seamless on any Mac, but the MacBook Air handles it like a true champ.

The advantage of running Windows on MacBook Air is enhanced by the latest Parallels Desktop features. Battery life is up to 30% longer, using 10% less Mac memory—all without having to reboot when you switch from one OS to the other.

Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac and the new generation of MacBook Air are a perfect match.

Not ready to take the plunge quite yet? Sign up for a 14-day free trial of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, and experience the #1 choice of Mac users for more than eight years.

Last Week in Tech, Today

This week in tech: Sony unveils smartglasses, Facebook wants to tweak your photos, and a Swiss watchmaker has second thoughts about ignoring Apple Watch. Let’s get started!

Can you see me now?

Image courtesy of business insider.

Image courtesy of business insider.

Earlier this week, Sony announced that they were jumping into the smartglasses space, but more as an OEM by licensing the technology to other companies to resell. Unlike Google Glass, Sony’s wearable concept has the potential to clip onto your existing glasses. 

To me, this seems like a better approach, especially since two years in, Google is still having a hard time convincing consumers to adopt Google Glass. In addition, many consumers are concerned that they are being recorded by people sporting the smartglasses (having the pet name “Glass Holes” isn’t exactly encouraging). 

On the surface, Sony’s iteration seems interesting and quite powerful. The smartglasses will include an OLED HD display that will project a 640 x 400 color images, and an ARM processor with both Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and touch sensors—so in essence, it will be like having Android right in front of your eyes:

image courtesy of phandroid.

image courtesy of phandroid.

With this level of power and connectivity, the apps should prove valuable for users. Following in Google’s approach, Sony is focusing on apps for sports and business to drive adoption and acceptance, as well as understand customer experience. 

The screenshots above will give you a sense of what you will see if you were wearing a pair of these. Unlike Google, I think Sony has the better approach—having the ability to use this technology as needed but not being stuck having to wear them all of the time will increase adoption. 

Sony plans on showing off this technology next month during the Consumer Electronics show in January, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about these. Overall, both Sony’s and Google’s technology are fun to watch develop, but the Holy Grail for this kind of wearable will be when we can have a true heads-up display like Iron Man or the Terminator. When the day comes that we have our regular glasses “project” images right within the lens, well, then we’ll really have something sci-fi!

Auto Photo Enhancements coming to Facebook

What is the most popular action people take on Facebook? Uploading photos—of their friends, family members, and themselves, all typically from a mobile device. Thus, the majority of photos uploaded by users are taken using a smartphone camera, meaning more potential for exposure issues and lower-quality images. 

image courtesy of techcrunch.

image courtesy of techcrunch.

With the latest release of the Facebook App for iOS devices, Facebook is adding a photo enhancement feature that should help us all out (don’t worry, Android users—the feature will be coming to you soon too). The new feature will work simply enough: once you upload your photo as a post draft, the app will allow you to use a slider to adjust how much light, shadow, and clarity you want to apply to your photo.

While this won’t make us better photographers, it’s still a nice enhancement—even better, by the time you read this, it should be available on your iPhone’s Facebook App.

Time is ticking for watchmakers

When Apple announced the Apple Watch back in September, there was undeniably something different about their version of this wearable in comparison to other smartwatches on the market. 

In typical Apple fashion, they didn’t just position the gadget as their latest tech offering, but also as a fine timepiece. This way, the smartwatch appeals to all manner of consumers—the fitness buff, everyday worker; even the CEO. Apple did this by offering versions in three different metals, including 18K gold, with a large variety of custom bands to attract the most fashion-conscious shopper.

image courtesy of cnet.

image courtesy of cnet.

Due to Apple’s consideration of user style with the Apple Watch, the fashion industry has started to question the impact this might have on Swiss watchmakers such as TAG Heuer and others. Initially, the consensus was that the Apple Watch wasn’t a threat—that smartwatches were gimmicky and would have short lifespans (even one made by Apple). 

image courtesy of mac rumors.

image courtesy of mac rumors.

Four short months (and plenty of hype for the Apple Watch) later, the perspective among watchmakers has shifted a bit. Earlier this week, LVMH Watch Chief Jean-Claude Biver announced their own smartwatch initiative that could include both partnerships and acquisitions. In my opinion, this is a smart move on Biver’s part and I’m anxiously waiting to what they announce to stall the mass adoption of Apple Watch in early 2015.

 

And that, ladies and gents, is the end of this week’s highlights. This will be our last weekly recap for tech news for the remainder of 2014, and we look forward to picking this back up next year!  From myself and the whole Parallels team, have a wonderful holiday and all of the best moving into the New Year! Feel free to leave your comments below, and for more insights, follow me on Twitter @SkeeterHarris.


Be a cross-platform champion. Try Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Free for 14 days! Start your free trial now!

The History of Apple in Three Minutes (Video)

If you just can’t wait for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs movie to come out (sorry, Ashton Kutcher), we have something else for you to watch in the meantime: the full, fascinating history of Apple in three minutes. 

Comprehensive in detail, this 2-D animated video from 24MotionDesign is the perfect lunchtime brain break for all Apple aficionados. One thing’s for sure—from its humble beginnings to its status as a full-fledged tech giant, Apple sure has come a long way: 

What do you think: Will Apple slow down anytime soon? With releases like the Apple Watch (going into production early next year) and products like Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, we think not. Happy Throwback Thursday!


Be a cross-platform champion. Try Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Free for 14 days! Start your free trial now!

Where Should I Store My Docs? Part 2

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The following is the second installment in our series about document storage options in Parallels Desktop 10. To start from the beginning, click here. Last week’s post covered how to store files in the Documents folder on your Mac.


Option 2: Store Docs “Near” the Applications That Created Them

With this storage option, you deliberately don’t mix up your documents. Documents created by Mac applications are stored on the Mac, and documents created by Windows applications are stored in Windows in your virtual machine. 

You are keeping the two environments separate, and if you need to use a document in a different environment from the one in which it was created, you’ll need to move it to the other environment by dragging and dropping. This choice works best if you run Windows in a window on your Mac (or in full-screen), and you don’t use Coherence.

To optimize this storage choice, you’ll probably want to turn off sharing between Mac and Windows—this will prevent documents from showing up in two places at once.

So, to recap, here is the full list of pros and cons for storing all of your docs "near" the applications that created them:

PROS:

  1. Logical, if you want to keep Mac and Windows separated.
  2. All docs are visible all the time, even if Windows isn't running.

CONS:

  1. You have to back up your documents in two places.
  2. If Windows isn't already running, opening a doc generated by a Windows application may take longer because Windows has to boot up.
  3. Docs are "trapped" inside a single virtual machine.
  4. You'll need to turn off the default sharing options in Parallels Desktop.

So, where do you store your docs? Stay tuned for Part 3!


Be a cross-platform champion. Try Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Free for 14 days! Start your free trial now!

Live-Stream Gaming on Parallels Desktop: Part 3

The following is the third in a series of posts by guest blogger Patrick Schoof—or, as he’s known in gaming circles, Unexceptional, a popular Twitch streamer using Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac. Read on to learn about his experience choosing and using Parallels Desktop to live-stream games.


See this Twitch Streamer in Action Gaming with Parallels Desktop

In my last two posts—Part 1 and Part 2—I covered how and why I picked Parallels Desktop as my go-to gaming solution for live-streaming on Twitch and for PC gaming on my Mac. 

Today I’m going to show you how it all works: Tune into my live-stream starting at 11 a.m. PST!

Watch me live!

Watch me live!

Tune into my stream on Twitch, and I’ll answer any questions you have about my experience using Parallels Desktop—just click the screenshot above, or join now!

Stay tuned for Part 4 of my guest blog series next week, when I’ll recap my thoughts on live-streaming with Parallels Desktop and highlight how you can see a live demo streaming in real-time. Until then, you can catch my stream on Twitch as Unexceptional, or follow me on Twitter at @UnexceptionalTV!


Patrick Schoof is a popular live-streamer with the handle of Unexceptional on Twitch, as well as a guy with a writing degree who uses it to say (hopefully) witty things while gaming. Catch his stream weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. You can also follow him on Twitter @UnexceptionalTV. Happy gaming!


Play in a virtual machine that can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. Try Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Free for 14 days! Start your free trial now!