Parallels 15 will let you use your Apple Pencil with Windows

It’s also the first version of the software to support DirectX 11 through Apple’s Metal API.

Popular Mac-to-Windows desktop virtualization software Parallels is adding native support for DirectX 11 as well as upcoming macOS Catalina tentpole features like Sidecar, developer Corel announced on Tuesday.

The highlight of Parallels Desktop 15 is cross-platform support for DirectX 11 courtesy of Apple's Metal graphics API. With support for Metal in tow, Corel claims the new version of Parallels delivers 15 percent faster 3D graphics performance, in addition to a smoother, more responsive user interface. For frequent Microsoft Office users, the company says Microsoft's suite of productivity apps will launch 80 percent faster with Parallels 15.

Beyond improved performance, expanded graphics support means Parallels 15 will allow Mac owners to use programs and play games they weren't able to in the past. Notable highlights include computer-aided design (CAD) programs like Autodesk 3ds Max 2020, as well as recent games like Fallout 4, Anno 1800 and Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.

What's most interesting about this release, however, is that once Apple releases macOS Catalina this fall, Parallels will allow Mac owners to use features like Sidecar and expanded Apple Pencil support within Windows. With Parallels 15, Sidecar, which will allow iPad owners to use their tablet as a secondary display in macOS Catalina, will also work in Windows. Similarly, Apple Pencil owners will be able to use their stylus in Windows programs like Microsoft Sketch Pad.

In fact, if there's a throughline with this release, it's that Corel has been able to more tightly integrate macOS with Windows. For instance, one nifty piece of new integration allows Mac owners to use the macOS Share menu to attach a file to an email they intend to send through a Windows mail client like Outlook.

New Parallels subscriptions cost $80 per year and are available to buy starting today. Current Parallels customers can upgrade to the updated software for $50. If you'd like to check out all the enhancements Corel has added to Parallels 15, a 14-day trial is also available.