Today Parallels — which is now part of Canadian software powerhouse Corel — announced Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac. Each year, Parallels makes a major update to the virtual machine app, and 2019 brings some excellent changes.
When Parallels Desktop 15 ships — soon — it will be ready for macOS 10.15 Catalina as both a host and guest operating system. In other words, Parallels Desktop 15 works with Catalina as the Mac’s operating system, and it can also be set up as a guest OS for testing apps.
Of course, the primary reason for the existence of Parallels Desktop is that many Mac users need to run Windows apps because of corporate dictates or personal preference. Users can move old PCs to the Mac as a virtual machine, import virtual machines that they’ve been using for a while, and even install a Windows 10 evaluation copy with one click.
Parallels Desktop 15 now supports Metal and Direct X 11, which speeds up graphics-intensive apps tremendously. Want to play Xbox games on Mac? You can do it with Parallels Desktop 15. There’s also support for Catalina features such as Sign-In With Apple and Sidecar. In Sidecar, Parallels Desktop 15 provides full Apple Pencil support.
Many Parallels users run the virtual machine environment for one big reason — they want to run MS Office apps. They’ll be thrilled to find out that those apps start up to 80% faster under Desktop 15 than they did in Desktop 14 virtual machines.
Parallels users also get access to two standalone apps that really add to the Mac user experience. Parallels Toolbox for Windows and Mac adds a bunch of one-click tools that can do things like download videos from YouTube or Facebook to watch later, reclaim disk space and RAM, make GIFs, and even batch-resize images. Apple World Today readers can download a free trial of Parallels Toolbox here to try out a set of the useful utilities.
The other standalone app is my favorite way to access my iMac from an iPad or iPhone, controlling apps even over relatively slow cellular data connections — Parallels Access.
Apple World Today will have a full review of the new Parallels Desktop 15 as soon as it ships. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Parallels website for more information.