The diversity of the Android and Windows ecosystems are one of their biggest advantages over Apple’s alternatives. However, with two different companies in charge of development, sometimes it’s hard to get everyone together to create the kind of tightly integrated platforms Mac and iPhone fans are so proud of.
All images: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo
But now, with Mobile Connect, Dell is trying to give people using its laptops a suitable replacement for Apple Handoffs, which has long made it easy to send and recieve info, calls and texts, regardless of whether you’re using your phone or laptop.
The software, which will begin shipping on all XPS, Inspiron, Vostro and Alienware notebooks in 2018, uses a proprietary combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to access the same info being sent to your phone on your laptop’s screen.
When paired with an Android phone, you can do everything including making calls, check notifications, and even mirror your phone’s screen right on your laptop, all wire-free. Meanwhile when used with an iPhone, you’ll still be able to answer calls and texts, but due to the locked-down nature of iOS, Mobile Connect’s more advanced features won’t work.
When I got a chance to check out Mobile Connect for myself, controlling a demo phone from a nearby laptops was as simple as if I had the actual device in my hands.
I did notice that Mobile Connect suffered from a hint of lag when responding to commands, especially when it came to full-on screen mirroring. But the delay wasn’t much different than what I’ve experienced on similar laptop/phone pairing solutions such as Samsung’s SideSync app.
With Mobile Connect, I appreciate that Dell’s is trying to do its part to bridge the gap between Windows and Android, and its encouraging to see how well it works. It’s just a little annoying that it’s taken this long, considering people over in Apple land have had this kind of functionality since iOS 8, which came out back in late 2014.