Developers rejoice! Microsoft and Parallels partner to deliver Windows & Internet Explorer test environments.

We know that many of our customers are developers – creating very cool apps and websites. And we know how quickly a text matrix can grow out of control. It can be a full time job just maintaining all of the different configurations you need to test on!

That’s one place virtualization can really save you time. You can easily set up multiple virtual machines to account for the environments you need to test in. And using Rollback Mode (formerly Undo disks) you can have a pristine test environment every time you boot a virtual machine.

Now, we’ve partnered with the Modern.IE team at Microsoft to make testing with Internet Explorer even easier.  Right from our New VM Wizard you can download and install pre-configured 90 day trials of Windows and Internet Explorer.

Just select the combo of Windows and IE that you need and we’ll create a virtual machine for you. Check out this video to see how easy it is (Modern.IE section starts at 4:15).

How many virtual machines do you use for your testing?

First in line for the Bigger than bigger!

Well I had to do it, after getting up on September 12th at 3:00am for the Apple pre-order, and having no success in getting one ordered, I was left with only one option.   I was faced with having to wait in line on launch day, and pray I could get an iPhone 6 Plus.   So without hesitation, I went back to our blog post on iPhone line survival, and perused those handy tips to create my waiting in line check list.

It' was a balmy 39 degrees out that night!

It' was a balmy 39 degrees out that night!

Between the media frenzy and everything I had read online, I knew that this launch was going to be epic in scale.  Heck it might even eclipse the original iPhone launch!  (Just to put it in perspective, I waited 9 hours for the first iPhone).   To make sure I was best prepared I stopped in my local Apple store on Wednesday September 17th, to get any inside scoops from Apple employees.  While I was not expecting much I did glean one key piece of data, the local mall would not allow a line to form until 6:30pm the night before the launch.  

So with my check list in hand, I showed up at the local mall at 6:09pm with lawn chair, fully charged iPhone 5S, iPad Air, Sleeping Bag, winter hat, gloves, and a thermos full of hot cider.   You see, I live in the North East in NY, and the weather forecast was for a balmy 39 degrees that night.   As luck would have it, I ended up being first in line, and  after waiting 14 hours, I had my reservation for my Space Gray 128GB iPhone 6 Plus.

At 8am, I was promptly greeted by excited Apple employees who walked me first into the store with the local news stations filming me as I walked in.  I have to say, being an Apple Enthusiast and dedicated launch day guy for this stuff, it was a first, and very exciting.

So why the iPhone 6 Plus?  Many of my friends asked and honestly for me it came down to two very tangible things; screen size and battery performance.  Having a 5.5 inch screen will allow me to see more of content when surfing the web and reading, but even more important to me was being able to see more in my productivity apps when I’m remotely accessing them via Parallels Access.

iPhone 6 Plus, running Parallels Access with MS Office 2013

iPhone 6 Plus, running Parallels Access with MS Office 2013

Having the larger screen really makes apps like this much more usable on a phone, and more like my iPad so that I can complete tasks faster on the iPhone 6 Plus.  Being able to work on content for blog posts within MS Word and retrieve information stored on our corporate network is critical to me. Having the larger screen means I can carry just once device, and with the huge battery in the iPhone 6 Plus, I’m no longer a “wall hugger” as Samsung puts it.

If you’ve not tried Parallels Access yet, for me it’s become my must have productivity app and has saved me countless times while out of the office.   You can download a free trial of the software here, and Parallels Access is available for both IOS and Android devices.  If you did manage to get one of the 10 million iPhone 6 or 6 Plus’s last weekend we would love to hear your story!

The Line of Least Resistance: Waiting Doesn’t Have to be the Hardest Part

When it comes to lining up for the next iPhone, the most passionate Apple fans among us have more than a few stories to tell. For the more seasoned users, it’s practically considered a rite of passage to have multiple tours of duty under their belt.

But even for the most seasoned Apple fans, balancing the waiting with productivity can be a challenge. Getting busted for calling in sick when your boss sees you on the news is a rookie mistake.

Ahead of its September 19th availability, here are some tried and true tips for how to tackle the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus line in style.

Take the Power Back:

Make sure you have plenty of power for your idevices by bringing an external charger that will charge more than one device multiple times. A device such as the RAVPower Xtreme 23000 mAh 3-Port Portable should do the trick! If you’re looking at a multi-day campout, consider a reliable solar-powered device charger.

Creature Comforts Go a Long Way:

Make sure you bring a portable folding chair to keep you off of the ground for those extended wait times, along with plenty of water and snacks. Consider a blanket if you’re on the east coast or planning on spending the night outside. You’ll know you’re getting carried away if you start to instinctively reach for that can of bear spray.

A Friend In Need Is a Friend Indeed:

If you’re planning on using the bathroom, you may want to consider bringing a friend. Even a one-man wolfpack needs to face the call of nature, and an empty folding chair doesn’t necessarily guarantee your spot in line. If you can’t bring a friend, it should be relatively easy to befriend everyone in line around you.

Why Take a Vacation Day When You Can Work Remotely:  

To make sure you can still get your work done while waiting, we recommend you bring both your iPhone and your iPad. Use your smart phone to log into your company’s IM solution (be it Lync, Skype or whatever platform your team uses) and use your tablet to perform heavy work load duties such as MS Outlook, GoogleDocs, and MS PowerPoint.

Expect the Unexpected:

No matter how far ahead you prepare, chances are you’ll need to access files on your desktop PC back at the office. Fear not – you can use Parallels Access to quickly and easily reach any file on any device. You can download a free trial at www.parallels.com/access.

Before you get in line, there is still one more day for our fans and followers to enter to win an iPhone 6 and a Parallels Access subscription! To enter the Front of the Line contest, simply snap a picture of your personalized Apple device and share it with us on Facebook, then leverage those social networks to get your friends and family to vote for you. The contest ends on Thursday, September 18th, so now’s your chance to enter!

Good luck, and stay tuned! You may be the lucky winner…

Front of the Line: Enter to Win an Apple iPhone 6 with a Parallels Access Subscription!

With Tuesday’s big reveal now behind us, we know which iPhone 6 rumors were true and which were off-base. Fuelled by Apple’s main event, anticipation for the iPhone 6 – and 6 Plus – continues to reach even greater heights. New units are expected to hit Apple Stores worldwide on the 19th, but lines began forming a week ago, a full five days before consumers even knew what to expect. Global demand will be staggering – together, the two devices are expected to boost China’s exports by 1%.

We’ll let that sink in for a moment…

The Apple Store on 57th and 5th Ave in NYC on September 3, six days before the iPhone 6 was revealed… 

The Apple Store on 57th and 5th Ave in NYC on September 3, six days before the iPhone 6 was revealed… 

Before you pack up your camping gear and have Siri direct you to the nearest Apple store, Parallels is giving our fans and followers the chance to win an iPhone 6 with a Parallels Access Subscription. How, you ask? Simple. Just by being yourselves. 

Show us how you personalize your Apple devices. Is your MacBook a personal shrine to Air Jordan? Does your iPhone have a reputation for being a conversation starter (or does it have the opposite effect)? Snap a picture and share it with us on Facebook for your chance to win an iPhone 6!

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Once you’ve submitted your picture, it’s time to vote! You can only vote once, so be sure to tap into that vast social network of yours. Don't waste any time and enter before our contest end date, which is Thursday, September 18, 2014. 

We’ve partnered with G Style Magazine to sweeten the deal, and they will be giving away Parallels Access subscriptions and Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac licenses! Free trials for both are available for download at www.parallels.com/desktop and www.parallels.com/access.


iPhone 6 Rumors Report Card

While today’s livestream disaster left a slew of empty Apple Announcement Bingo cards in its wake, we’re here to fill you in on all the details of today’s big iPhone 6 reveal. A few weeks back, we highlighted the most hotly anticipated iPhone 6 rumors on the Parallels Desktop blog. How on point were those? Well…it’s a mixed bag.

Where We Were Right

Size: As expected, there will be two sizes. The 4.7” iPhone 6 model will start at $199, while the 5.5” model – which we referred to as an “iPhablet” – will be known as the iPhone 6 Plus and start at $299. Both models will be available in gold, silver and space grey (no black and white this go-around). They will start shipping on September 19, and iOS 8 will be released September 17.

Faster A8 Chip: Both models will boast up to 25 percent faster CPU performance and 50 percent faster graphics. Additionally, the A8 is up to 50 percent more efficient and can sustain power-intensive tasks for longer while generating less heat.

Buttons: As expected, the power and volume buttons have been slimmed down. The power button has been repositioned from the top to the side, making it easier to turn off and on with one hand.

Where We Were a Bit Off:

Sapphire: Apple says the glass on its new display is “ion strengthened,” but it doesn’t appear to be sapphire as everyone expected.

Extended battery life. Apple says the iPhone 6 will boast 14 hours of talk time – a 40 percent increase over the 5S – but web browsing time over 3G and LTE is still rated at 10 hours, and video playback time is 11 hours. That’s just slightly longer then the 5s. Not much of an improvement.

Infrared camera: While the 6 and 6 Plus will boast some truly advanced features – including an 8 megapixel camera, 1.5 micron pixels, f/2/2 aperture, “Focus Pixels” (a new feature which auto-determines the direction of and distance to the phone’s focus point to move the lens for sharper images) and the ability to focus twice as fast as the 5s – it won’t be infrared.

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What We Didn’t Expect:

Mobile Payments: With a built-in near-field communications (NFC) chip, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will include a new payment process called Apple Pay. Although no specifics have been revealed, it is rumored that Stripe may power the third-party ecosystem of apps that want to integrate Apple Pay into their check-out.

 The Apple Watch: OK, so we did have a few clues that Tim Cook would be unveiling an “iWatch” today, but we weren’t really sure what to expect. What do we know at this point? It comes in two sizes, will be available in early 2015 for $349, and will be armed with its own NFC chip to enable wrist payments and give users the ability to wave open a hotel room.

Reviews have been mixed. Some think it will it be a boon to the wearables industry, while others feel it’s too big, too expensive and tries too hard to jam too many features into the UI.



 

We’ve warned before that too many bells and whistles can degrade the UI and harm UX, but it’s far too early to predict whether that will be the case here. Tim Cook is willing to bet his legacy on this, so we’re definitely intrigued. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown from Bloomberg.

While the Jury is out on the Apple Watch, there’s no question the iPhone 6 is a hit. Naturally, Parallels Access will be available for both the 6 and the 6 Plus. You can download a free trial from the App Store on iTunes. It gives your favorite mobile devices cool new features today by letting you access your PCs and Macs and run all of their apps and files with touch gestures so they feel like they were made for your mobile device.