MacDirectory Magazine

Tune In!

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 106 of 162

104 MacDirectory REVIEW PARALLELS 4.0 > A WORTHWHILE UPGRADE IS THE APP FOR YOU Parallels 4.0 for Mac is the latest version of the groundbreaking virtualization app that brings the full functionality of Windows to the Macintosh without the requirement of a reboot into Boot Camp. Available only for Intel-based Macs, running OS X 10.411 or later, Parallels has been waging a fierce war against its main competitor, VMWare, with each upgrade from either prompting a response from its rival. Talking about that mess would not serve those of you who are more curious about what Parallels has to offer the new user, so we'll limit this review to discussing some of the new things you can look forward to in Parallels 4.0. To start with, you'll love the different ways you can manage your virtualization experience. First of all, new to Parallels is the Modality mode, which allows you to keep tabs of what's going on in the VM (virtual machine, the Windows environment that you'll be using for everything) window by resizing the window to keep it visible anywhere you choose. How is this useful? You could, for example, start a download running in the VM, and shrink the Modality window down to a tiny size and keep it in one corner, while you keep working in the Mac environment. You'll know at a glance exactly how close the download is to finishing without having to repeatedly shift focus back and forth between Mac and Windows. An even better way to interface with the VM is to use Coherence mode. With Coherence applied, Parallels does away with the full-screen Windows experience altogether, in favor of integrating all open applications directly into the Mac's Dock. Clicking on the Parallels icon in the Dock gives you access to the standard Windows Start Menu, and nothing else. Launching an application in Windows creates a corresponding icon in the Dock, which allows you to effectively run Windows programs right from the Mac, each in its own dedicated window. One of the key benefits to this is being able to better manage the user experience by seeing all open applications and easily switching between them via the command-tab trick that so many people use. Also new in this version is iPhone support. Currently functionality is limited to being able to view the totality of the VM environment and the ability to button- control only a few commands, like power off/on, restart, and suspend. It's not immediately clear how useful this functionality might be, but it's a step in the right direction. Parallels also does a great job of enabling the sharing of files and folders seamlessly between the Mac and Windows environments. From the Mac side, it's a simple matter of dragging and dropping directly into the VM window. From the VM side, all Mac files and folders can be seen and opened. Being a switcher has never been so easy. If I had one standout gripe, it would be that playing 3D games in Parallels still isn't quite up to speed, in both senses of the phrase. There are doubtless ways to configure the VM for better performance, but it's a road not entirely free of bumps at this stage. If you must play PC games, CrossOver Games by CodeWeavers might be a better choice. In all, people new to Parallels will find a lot to enjoy in the latest version, and previous owners of the app will want to upgrade immediately. There is so much to talk about in the latest version that one review couldn't possibly cover it all. If you've ever needed to interact with Windows on your Mac, Parallels is the app for you. WORDS BY KEONI CHAVEZ Product Parallels 4.0 Made by Parallels Price $79.99 download Pros Easy to share files between environments; new viewing modes; improved performance; memory allocation Cons 3D game playing still not entirely viable Rating HHHHH

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Tune In!