Business app of the week: Parallels Access for iPad

Business app of the week: Parallels Access for iPad

For a newly mobilised workforce, having access to key apps and files from mobile devices is essential, but with some solutions this can be a bit of a faff. With Parallels Access for iPad, staff can log in to your PC and Mac office environment and fully-fledged apps using iPad gestures. It’s time we looked inside Access for businesses…

What is Parallels Access for iPad?

If you’re used to working with both Mac and PC in your business, you may have heard of Parallels Desktop as the software that lets you run Windows virtually on your Macs. Parallels Access (Parallels, Inc, free) is like its mobile sister, letting you log in to your PC or Mac environment using your iPad, and access all the Windows apps and files on there remotely, so you can continue to work on projects when you’re away from the office.

Parallels Access for iPad

How does the app work?

Access, as Parallels put it, ‘applifies’ your Windows and Mac software. That is to say, it adds a level of iPad gesture control to your key applications without losing the functionality of more intensive applications, as Parallels puts the workload on your PC rather than your iPad. You simply tap to start any PC or Mac application, then use familiar iPad controls such as the magnifying glass to select text, and copy and paste in your desktop apps as if they were iPad apps. It’s even possible to copy and paste between your Mac or PC applications and iPad apps.

Who is Parallels Access for?

Any business who runs both Mac and PC estates as well as iPad deployments will benefit from the level of integration that Parallels Access gives. It lets you run Windows applications like Microsoft Office and your key business apps directly from iPad, and remotely access legacy files and documents just by logging in.

What’s the best feature?

Security and compliance requirements are obviously a key consideration for businesses, and Parallels Access really excels in this area. It’s secure, encrypted and operates the same access permissions and restrictions that staff have on applications and data in the office. Staff can open and work on files stored in the cloud without moving them to third party apps that might not meet your security requirements, and there’s a two-way sync so you don’t have to worry about version control.

How much is it and where can I get it?

The Parallels Access app (Parallels, Inc, free) doesn’t cost anything, and you can download it from the App Store on your iPad, or from iTunes. You will, however, need a subscription get continued access to Access, which costs £34.99 per year per licence. If you’re already using Parallels Desktop for Mac, you’re also entitled to a free six month subscription to Access.

Want to know more about making the most of iPad in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe are best known for their professional Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and InDesign, and tools like Acrobat, but lately they’ve been focusing on standalone mobile apps too. Now they’ve officially launched Adobe Voice, their brand new storytelling app for iPad.

Aiming to give anyone the ability to create and share engaging stories, Adobe Voice lets users easily create and share animated videos that combine images, music, voice recordings and special effects. This is great news for educators and students who want an easy in to creating basic video, using simple tools that make it easy to teach, to learn and to express themselves creatively.

It’s an ideal way for teachers to explain a concept or for students looking to create an engaging school assignment where they may not necessarily have the skills or resources to go down the traditional video route.

Adobe Voice for iPad

All you need do to get started is choose from a preset story template which outlines the structure of your video. Then you can simply import your own photos, pick from the app’s library of 25,000 icons or search the web for your own images. Next, pop a soundtrack over the top to fit your video from Adobe’s library, and even record a voiceover to explain your story. Your finished animated video can then be shared across social networks by posting a single link through social media, email, personal blogs or websites.

We’re going to be giving Adobe Voice a thorough test in the future, but in the meantime, why not give it a go yourself? It’s completely free and available to download now from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Trade in your old desk for a PreSonus StudioLive AI mixer

Trade in your old desk for a PreSonus StudioLive AI mixer

Is your digital desk sitting gathering dust? Until 30th June, we’re offering £800 off a new PreSonus StudioLive AI Series digital mixer when you trade in your old desk. With a free copy of Presonus Studio One Professional thrown in for good measure, it could be time for an upgrade.

What’s on offer?

You can opt for any of the PreSonus StudioLive AI Series digital mixers, including the 16.4.2AI, 24.4.2AI and 32.4.2AI and receive a saving of up to £800. The mixers are ideal for either live sound or studio recording, being both fully-featured and flexible. They’re really intuitive and easy to use in a live environment too, with fewer menus and more hands-on controls than other digital desks.

Save £800 on the PreSonus StudioLive 32.4.2AI when you trade in your old digital mixer.

Save £600 on the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI when you trade in your old digital mixer.

Save £400 on the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI when you trade in your old digital mixer.

How does it work?

You bring your old digital mixer to us to trade in. The traded-in mixer can be either an original PreSonus StudioLive, or any other brand of digital mixer, but should be in good working order and in reasonable cosmetic condition (oh, and digital mixers only, sorry). We then give you the saving off the new PreSonus StudioLive AI digital mixer of your choice.

The deal runs from 1st May until 30th June 2014, so get in touch with us today to upgrade your old digital mixer to a PreSonus StudioLive now.

Want to know more about the PreSonus StudioLive AI Series digital mixers? Call 03332 409 306, email or leave us a comment below. You can also keep up with more news, reviews and offers on our Twitter (@Jigsaw24Audio) and Facebook page.

Exclusive education offer: Get 10% off Canon cameras

Exclusive education offer: Get 10% off Canon cameras

Looking at refreshing your camcorders and broadcast equipment this term? Canon are currently offering 10% off many of their popular products like the Canon Cinema EOS range for education customers. You’ll have to hurry if you want to take advantage of this great offer though, as it runs out on Sunday 18th May 2014.

The 10% offer is applicable to a huge range of Canon’s most popular digital cameras and broadcast equipment, such as the Cinema EOS C100 camcorder which, because of its great feature set and price point, is one of the team’s favourites for education (read James’s review here). Also included are the brilliant XF300 and XF305 camcorders, as well as plenty of quality lenses.

How do I get the discount?

To apply for your 10% off Canon cameras and broadcast equipment, all you need to do is give us a call or email letting us know which products you’re interested in. This is an education-exclusive offer though, so you’ll also need to provide us with your institution’s name and details. The offer is available from 1st March 2014 until 18th May 2014.

Here’s the full list of everything included:


– Canon Cinema EOS C500.

– Canon Cinema EOS C500 PL.

– Canon Cinema EOS C300.

– Canon Cinema EOS C300 PL.

– Canon Cinema EOS C100.

– Canon XA20.

– Canon XA25.

– Canon XF300.

– Canon XF305.


– CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L S/SP.

– CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S.

– CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP.

– CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L S/SP.

– CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S.

– CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP.

– CN-E14mm T3.1 L F.

– CN-E24mm T1.5 L F.

– CN-E35mm T1.5 L F.

– CN-E50mm T1.3 L F.

– CN-E85mm T1.3 L F.

– CN-E135mm T2.2 L F.

Want to know more about Canon cameras and broadcast equipment for education? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


An apology: Autodesk Softimage final release announcement

An apology: Autodesk Softimage final release announcement

An apology: On Tuesday 4 March 2014, we ran a story on our blog detailing Autodesk’s announcement of the final release of their Softimage software.  

All at Jigsaw24 would like to apologise for the mistiming and tone used in this article. We try to keep our brand’s style light-hearted, but understand a more considered approach was needed here. Sorry to any of the dedicated Softimage users who happened to find this news out from us in this way, rather than from the official Autodesk press release. We have posted the official announcement from Autodesk below, including details and FAQs on everything Softimage users need to know about the future of Softimage. We will also continue to support our loyal Autodesk and Autodesk Softimage users with advice.


Softimage final release announcement

We regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Softimage® software. This final version is expected to ship on or around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until April 30, 2016. We will also provide Softimage support services (including Hot Fixes and Service Packs) to all Softimage customers with Autodesk Subscription, at no cost, until April 30, 2016.

We understand that you will now need time to re-evaluate your production capabilities. To help you, we are offering Autodesk Softimage Subscription customers special no-cost options to migrate to either Maya or 3ds Max software while continuing to use Softimage in production. These options will be available until February 1, 2016. Upgrade paths are also available for customers who are not on Subscription.

Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our development efforts, we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products, faster. Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause; however, we believe that you will find our new transition product offerings very attractive.

What is happening to Softimage?

Autodesk Softimage 2015 will be the last version release of the software. As of March 28, 2014, customers will no longer be able to purchase new standalone licenses. For Softimage customers who are currently on Autodesk Subscription, there will be options to migrate to transition offerings that include either Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max for no additional cost.

How long will Autodesk provide support services for Softimage?

Autodesk plans to provide support and maintenance services to Softimage customers with active Autodesk Subscription contracts until April 30, 2016 or until the end of their contract in cases where an existing contract has a later expiry date. Customers renewing Subscription contracts will be able to continue to do so until April 30, 2016. Where necessary, contracts after March 28, 2014 will be prorated to end on April 30, 2016.

What about Service Packs?

Ongoing maintenance development (Hot Fixes and Service Packs) will continue for all Softimage customers (Subscription and non-Subscription) for a two-year support period (until April 30, 2016). All customers will be entitled to any Hot Fixes or Service Packs released for their version of software. However, an Autodesk Subscription contract will be required to access any additional customer support.

Want to know more about Autodesk productsGive us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Win a £200 voucher every day in Focusrite’s spring competition blowout

Win a £200 voucher every day in Focusrite’s spring competition blowout

Focusrite are celebrating the start of spring by entering anyone who purchases any Focusrite, Novation or KRK product into a prize draw to win a £200 voucher. With 50 daily draws, that means a total of £10,000 of new kit up for grabs!

All you have to do is buy any new Focusrite, Novation or KRK product from Jigsaw24 between 1 April and 2 June 2014, then fill in the form here for a chance to win. There’s only the matter of one simple question to tax your grey matter: ‘On how many mixes has Chris Lord-Alge (multi-GRAMMY Award-winning producer/mixer) used the Focusrite Red 3 Dual Compressor Limiter?’.

Once you’ve entered and answered the competition question correctly, you’re automatically included in the daily draw for a £200 Studio Gear Voucher until the final draw. There are 50 draws in total, and the sooner you purchase, the more daily competitions you’ll be entered into. The first draw is on 15 April 2014. Winners will be announced daily, and the 50 lucky winners will be contacted directly by Focusrite.

– Once you’ve purchased your qualifying product, you can enter and find out more on Focusrite’s site here.

If you want to be in with a chance, check out the full Focusrite range here. You can also call 03332 409 306, email or leave us a comment below for more info. Don’t forget to keep up with more news, reviews and offers on our Twitter (@Jigsaw24Audio) and Facebook page.


NAB 2014: The Panasonic Lumix GH4 4K is available now!

NAB 2014: The Panasonic Lumix GH4 4K is available now!

Very exciting news for anyone looking to shoot 4K on a tight budget – the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 is now available (and for just over a grand too!). On top of 4K video, you also get a brand new sensor, focusing peaking and a 200,000-cycle shutter.

That means the GH4 has even better stills game than Panasonic’s previous Lumix GH3 too, so it’s an ideal DSLR for photographers as well as videographers. The 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor is capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, as well as UHD 4K 3840×2160 24p/24p/30p, cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p, and full HD at up to 96 fps onto SD card. It’s also compatible with Micro 4/3″ lenses, so you can use your favourite glass with this system.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 on Jigsaw24

4K video shooting

On the video front, the GH4 can handle 4K shooting and offers 12fps full resolution burst shooting mode. Panasonic have added new Depth from Defocus technology for better clarity and accuracy in shots, and also equipped it with Variable Frame Rate which ranges from 2fps to 96fps or 4x speed, all in full 1080p HD.

You get two OLED displays on the Panasonic Lumix GH4 – one for the rear monitor and the second for the Live View Finder – and it also has built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity, all packaged up in a weather-sealed body that’s both dustproof and splashproof (pretty handy for outdoor shooting in our unpredictable weather!). There’s also the option of adding the DMW-YAGH base module interface unit, which even includes timecode for integration into broadcast workflows

The full features are listed below:

– Highest quality 4K shooting experience.

– High quality, high sensitivity 16.05 megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor.

– Micro 4/3″ lens mount.

– 1024×768 OLED panel.

– HDMI 1.4a outputs 4K or 1080 streams.

– PAL/NTSC switchable.

– Wireless connectivity via WiFi/NFC with smartphones.

– Precision AF: Contrast AF system is enhanced by the integration of DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology.

– Video formats: MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD.

– Durable, ergonomic and intuitive design.

– Optional interface unit available – DMW-YAGH.

Panasonic at NAB 2014

Panasonic will be exhibiting again this year at the NAB Show, 7-10 April, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. They’ll be debuting a pair of their signature VariCam cameras, one 4K VariCam and one 2/3 type, plus P2 solid-state recording media, the expressP2 card, 4K capture and the expressP2 card drive. Visit them to find out more at booth C3607 in the Central Hall.

Panasonic Lumix GH4 on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 4K system camera? Call 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

Jigsaw24’s top tech bloggers

Jigsaw24’s top tech bloggers

We love a good blog as much as the next person, and are constantly on the lookout for the latest Apple news, Mac Pro reviews and other creative bits and bobs. So we thought it’d be a good idea to round up all our top tech bloggers into one place, and for each of the chosen bloggers, we designed a custom Jigsaw24 badge to show our gratitude (there was a bit of a fight over who got the rabbit).

These guys are all well worth a look into if you’re interested in anything technology-related. You can see their bios and Twitter profiles below.


Brian Westover –

Bio: “Brian Westover is an Analyst for the Hardware Team, reviewing laptops, desktops, and storage devices. Brian has been writing professionally since 2007, and his work has appeared in business newsletters, websites, textbooks, and magazines.” Twitter: @BrianatPC

Dave Neal – The Inquirer

Bio: “Thyroid Cancer Enduring Technology Journalist & Geek. Of Mice, Memory and Chemotherapy.” Twitter: @DaveNeal33


Neil Bennett – Digital Arts

Bio: “Editor of Digital Arts. Man about town. Music snob. Father. You know the rest.” Twitter: @NeilBennett


David Pierce – The Verge

Bio: “Senior Reviews Editor at The Verge. Formerly an analyst at PCMag. Written for Wired, The Washington Post, PC World, and others. Zog Sports soccer champion. I live in Brooklyn, studied politics at the University of Virginia (properly known as Mr. Jefferson’s University), and have been known to eat Ramen from time to time.” Twitter: @PierceDavid

Matt Hill –

Bio: “Tech! Games! Films! Magazines! Tablets! Spurs! Monsters! Own views! Live! Editor, T3 Magazine & Digital Editions.” Twitter: @gethill


Greg Koenig – Atomic Delights

Bio: “I’m a product designer living in Portland, Oregon. Eventually I’ll tell you more, but the only germane thing to know is that I love making things and appreciating how others make things.” Twitter: @gak_pdx

Sanjiv Sathiah –

Bio: “News Editor at, Transport for NSW, muso, music lover, movie lover.” Twitter: @sathinator


Khidr Suleman – ITPro

Bio: “Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  – so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats.” Twitter: @TechPunk316


Gerald Lynch – Tech Digest

Bio: “News Editor @ Gizmodo UK . Successful tech blogger, failed guitar hero. WL2M Iggy Pop, Reeves and Mortimer. Keep the Faith.” Twitter: @geegeemidnight


Hunter and Tom at Digital Spy Tech
Hunter Skipworth and Tom Mansell – Digital Spy Tech

Hunter: “Technology Editor for Digital Spy. Not related to Hunter from Gladiators. Views my own. I like tech, turtles and cars … sorry.” Tom: “Video Producer for @digitalspy All views expressed here are my own. More moderate in real life.” Twitter: @HunterSkipworth/@Mansellto

Jonny Evans – Computerworld

Bio: “Word-miner, watching iChange since ’99. Watching Apple since ’99.” Twitter: @jonnyevans_cw


Matthew Bolton – MacFormat/TechRadar

Bio: “Deputy Editor of MacFormat and Future’s Apple Specials (and tech journalist). Opinions expressed are entirely my own folly.” Blog: MacFormat Twitter: @matthewbbolton


Scott Hansen – ISO50/Tycho

Bio: “I am a San Francisco, California based musician (Tycho) and artist (ISO50). I created the ISO50 site originally to house my design work in a portfolioformat but over the years it has grown to encompass a shop, clothing line, and blog.” Twitter: @ISO50


Larry Jordan –

Bio: “Meet Larry Jordan, an internationally-renowned consultant and Apple-Certified trainer with over 35 years experience as a television producer, director and editor with national broadcast and corporate credits.” Twitter: @LarryJordanFCP


Mark Prigg – MailOnline/StuffTV

Bio: “US Science and Technology Editor @MailOnline, Welsh, Cardiff City fan, primate enthusiast.” Twitter: @markprigg

Ian Osborne – MacFormat/TechRadar

Bio: “I’m the reviews editor for MacFormat. This is my personal Twitter account, so all opinions expressed here are my own and not those of my employer.” Twitter: @ijosborne

Stephen Dean – The Register

Bio: Tech writer and reviewer at The Register, specialising in Apple Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone news and review. Twitter: @TheRegister


Darrell Etherington – TechCrunch

Bio: “A writer focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus.” Twitter: @drizzled


Jackson Wong – Videomaker

Bio: “I keep Star Wars stuff on my desk and love video production. I also appreciate foley and sports broadcast. And I usually know how to write longer sentences…” Blog: Twitter: @Videomaker

Peter Cohen – iMore

Bio: “Managing editor, Freelance tech journo. Husband to @fletchen, dad to three kids.” Twitter: @flargh


Dana Wollman – Engadget

Bio: “Engadget managing editor (still overseeing reviews), native Brooklynite, marathoner, lover of puns. No Twitter pitches, please.” Twitter: @DanaWollman


Want more of the latest news on Apple, Mac and iPad and the hottest new creative technology? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest festive news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.



Win a ton of film gear in the My RØDE Reel competition

Win a ton of film gear in the My RØDE Reel competition

Microphone kings RØDE have launched a short film competition, with a bountiful hoard of film gear up for grabs. Here’s how you can enter My RØDE Reel, and potentially get your hands on some of the $70,000 worth of swag…   

My RØDE Reel is an international short film competition, and as such you need to enter a short film to be in with a chance  of winning (no premium rate phone-ins here). Two films, in fact. Firstly, an original short film on any topic of up to five minutes, and secondly an accompanying behind-the-scenes video that shows a RØDE microphone in use.

What can I win?

This is the exciting bit. The overall winner of the My RØDE Reel Judges’ Film Prize 2014 gets a whole heap of film kit. There isn’t room to fit it all in here, but suffice to say, some of the highlights include a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, a couple of Zeiss lenses, dozens of microphones and accessories from RØDE including the NTG-3, SmartLavs and VideoMicPro, a pair of Event Opal speakers, storage such as the G-Technology G-DOCK ev, camera support and software including a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Phew.

There are also six category prizes – Best Sound Design, Best Soundtrack, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Location and Best Non-English Film – which all walk away with an NTG-3, Blimp, Boompole and Event 20/20 monitors. Oh, and you get a free RØDE t-shirt just for entering too.

What do I have to do?

Once you’re happy with your film and the behind-the-scenes video, upload them to YouTube with ‘My RØDE Reel 2014′ at the end of the titles, then just fill out the entry form here to be in with a chance. Entries must be submitted between 1 March and 31 May 2014.

Want to know more about RØDE microphones? Call 03332 409 306, email or leave us a comment below. You can also keep up with more news, reviews and offers on our Twitter (@Jigsaw24Audio) and Facebook page.


6 app ideas to boost your business

6 app ideas to boost your business

From sales tools to logistics and reporting tools to mobile versions of your key business systems, a killer mobile app can allow your business to capture and access information on the move at all times. It can also bring your mobile workforce closer to your office workflows. 

Here are just 6 of the ways your business can benefit (plus a couple of examples for you to try out)…

1. Sales tools and catalogues

One great use of a mobile app is as a customer-facing sales tool that lets customers browse and purchase on their iPad. You can build full product price lists and ensure salespeople have the most up to date information when pitching or putting together quotes, all helping you streamline your sales experience and reduce your time to quote.

You can even accept credit card payments on the spot, using functionality much like in the iZettle app (iZettle AB, free).

App development from Jigsaw24

2. Presentation tools

An app is also a great way to showcase what your business does to a customer, presenting your full roster of services, as well as case studies and other resources. We recently worked with Phoenix IT to develop their own custom app, which has helped their field sales team promote the company’s services, streamline the customer-facing sales experience and make them look professional too.

Take a look at the brilliant Lowe + Partners app (Lowe and Partners, free) for an idea of how you can effectively showcase your business with a custom app.

3. Key business systems

Custom apps can also be mobile versions of your key business systems, integrating into your backend systems and providing shortcuts to frequently required resources. Integrating your apps with Salesforce or other CRM and mission-critical systems is a great way to ensure field staff have all the data they need, when they need it.

It also improves reporting and process consistency between mobile workers and those in head office.

4. Logistics tools

Another thing to think about is location awareness. Laptops don’t tend to share their location, whereas mobile apps can, which makes them great as logistics tools. By using a check-in function to record the time and date at a location, a custom app can track inventory and help you manage appointments with customers.

One of our most recent projects involved building an app that allowed drivers for a furniture company to track their location, pinpoint nearby customers, then assess and photograph returned items before they headed back to the office, speeding up processing and improving data flow.

5. Data capture

That leads us on to the data capture abilities of mobile apps. Simple input forms can be used to capture data on the move, and can be enhanced with iPhone and iPad features such as the camera and GPS. Forms can also be expanded into checklists, which can allow interactive checklists for site visits, surveys and inspections.

With a custom app, your mobile device can essentially become a camera, bar code reader, GPS tracker, survey tool and checklist tool, all in one.

6. Reporting tools

All that data captured by field staff can then immediately be viewed back at the office through a custom app. Harnessing web interfaces and APIs or database queries and spreadsheets, data from field staff can be viewed by office based staff or other mobile workers. And of course, emails and push notifications via a service provider can be used to feed back to other users too.

These are really just a few starting points, though – there are hundreds of possibilities for an app to change your business. Maybe you’ve already got your own billion-dollar app idea and just need someone to crack on with the coding… 

Custom app development from Jigsaw24

Want to know more about developing your own killer business app? Get in touch with our app development team on 03332 400 888, email or head to our custom app development site.