Parallels 8 updated with USB 3.0 support, Windows 8 tablet gestures, more

Parallels introduced a big update today for Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. It includes new features for Windows 8 users, full USB 3.0 support, and improved Retina display settings. On top of support for Windows 8 tablet gestures, Parallels is including a Windows 8 tile that allows users to access shared Mac apps. According to Parallels, the update also includes faster USB 3.0 performance, an increased limit for virtual machines running large apps, and “Smooth transitions when entering and exiting Coherence mode”:

Now Mac users can enjoy new features including Windows 8 tablet gestures and use a Windows 8 interface tile to access shared Mac apps.  These updates, plus the already deep Parallels Desktop 8 integration of Mac OS X and Windows 8, enable people to also use Mountain Lion’s Dictation feature in Windows applications, add Windows apps to Launchpad and the Mac Dock, enjoy brilliant Retina display resolution for Windows apps and more – making Parallels Desktop 8 an ideal way to run Windows 8 on a Mac without rebooting. 

Last month, Parallels warned Mac users not to upgrade to Windows 8 until the company finished testing the upgrade process (new installs of Win 8 not included). Parallels said it would notify users through an in-app notification when the upgrade process was ready.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

Seagate Backup Plus brings USB 3.0 speed, sociability to new Macbooks

When Seagate launched its PC/Mac Backup Plus offering that could safeguard not only your folders but your Facebook or Twitter content, too, it seemed like a nice idea. But conspicuously missing from the Mac side of that equation was a USB 3.0 port to hustle transfers along at a much less pedestrian 5 Gbps -- likely because until recently, no Macs directly supported it. Now, Seagate has launched a USB 3.0 version of the device for those shiny new Macbook Pro Retina and Air models that pack it, while offering the option to upgrade to Thunderbolt or FireWire 800 "as the need presents itself." Prices go from $110 for the 500GB model up to $180 for the 3TB version -- check the PR after the break to see the entire range.

[Source: Engadget]

Drobo begins pre-orders for Mini and 5D storage arrays with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0

Data storage company Drobo is announcing the beginning of pre-orders for its Mini and 5D arrays, which we got to check out at its headquarters last month. The products are its first to add Thunderbolt (in addition to USB 3.0), and like its others, they let you use multiple disks of various speeds and capacities to keep a redundant backup of all your files. The approach, while expensive, gives you more protection against disk failure than a single backup drive, but is simpler to build and maintain than most RAID options.  The bigger 5D starts at $849 and takes up to five 3.5-inch drives, as well as a single optional SSD over mSATA to speed things up. The smaller Mini is the company's first design to use smaller 2.5-inch laptop drives, resulting in a much smaller, portable package. Otherwise, it has the same bay for an optional SSD, and starts at $649. Pre-orders are available right away (a list of retailers is available at the source link below), but there are still a couple of months to wait — Drobo is planning to ship "by the end of September."

[Source: The Verge]