Parallels on Tuesday announced the release of Parallels Desktop 15, its desktop virtualization software for Mac. The new version offers DirectX 11 support via Apple’s Metal API, native support for Sidecar in macOS Catalina, and several other new features and improvements.
The new Parallels Desktop version is the first to offer support for Microsoft’s DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11, using Apple’s hardware accelerated Metal graphics API. The change should bring an obvious performance boost, with Parallels claiming Microsoft Office applications launching 80% faster, and 3D graphics rendering 15% faster than previously.
The new support expands the number of Windows apps Mac users can run. Additional apps include Autodesk 3ds Max 2020, Lumion, ArcGIS Pro, and Master Series. Gamers will also appreciate the improvements, as many of their favorite titles will also run faster. Parallels specifically mentions Madden NFL 19, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Anno 2205, Railway Empire, Space Engineers, Frostpunk, and Risk of Rain 2.
Version 15 also will offer support for macOS Catalina’s Sidecar feature when the new version of macOS is released in the fall. This will offer improved support for Apple Pencil drawing capabilities when working with Windows apps on the iPad via Sidecar. New features will include:
- Tilt support for Apple Pencil.
- Double-tap Apple Pencil to get new Touch Bar options.
- Toggle between Pen, Eraser and Mouse modes.
- Easily take a snip, enable Windows Tablet mode or open the Windows onscreen keyboard from Touch Bar.
Parallels says those new features are still in development, and will be introduced around the release of macOS Catalina.
Parallels Desktop 15 will also offer better integration with macOS, including the ability to use screenshot previews in Windows application, with the ability to drag images from stock Mac apps.
New support is available for the Share menu in Mac Finder, allowing users to send files from macOS by using a Windows email application, and also offers Keychain support, offering faster login to apps and websites inside Windows.
Parallels Desktop 15 also now supports Bluetooth Low Energy. This allows users to make use of more devices, including Logitech Craft, IrisPEN and some IoT devices (such as smart home appliances and smart bands).The version of the Bluetooth driver is 4.0
A complete list of changes and improvements in Parallels Desktop 15 is available here.
Parallels Desktop 15 requires macOS Mojave or later to run, and is available for $99.99, while the Pro and Business versions, which offer more features, are available for $99.99 per year.
Users of older versions of the virtualization software can upgrade for $49.99. College students in the United States, Canada, Germany and UK have access to the reduced price Student Edition. A 14-day free trial is available.