iPhone’s Legendary Continuity Features May Soon Come to These Windows Laptops

Alienware Laptop Credit: Wikimedia / Nick Dillon
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The integration that Apple offers between its products is truly legendary, and something that many other manufacturers have only been able to replicate at the most superficial levels. Features like Continuity and Handoff provide an almost magical experience when it comes to moving seamlessly between your iMac, MacBook, iPhone, and iPad, and then there are all of the other little things, like unlocking your Mac with your Apple Watch, handing off music from your iPhone to a HomePod, using your iPhone to enter text on your Apple TV, sending files between devices with AirDrop, and of course how brilliantly Apple’s AirPods just pair up with your iPhone whenever they’re nearby.

While it’s not perfect, it’s light years ahead of what others have been able to accomplish, and is one of the strongest pieces of glue that holds Apple products together and makes life in the Apple ecosystem so great. It’s one of those things that’s hard to appreciate until you’ve experienced it first hand and actually come to rely on it.

Started an email on your iPhone but found it got too long to tap out on a small touchscreen keyboard? Sit down in front of your Mac, click an icon in the dock, and just like magic, your draft will be opened up in a new window on your Mac, ready to go. Or do you have a photo on your iPhone that you really need to work with on your Mac? Just copy it to the clipboard on your iPhone and a few seconds later it will be ready to paste right into the document you’re working on. Or you can simply right-click in the middle of a Word or Pages document to see an option on the context menu to take a new photo, scan a document or even draw a sketch using your iPhone or iPad. It feels like the future where technology just works intuitively like it’s supposed to in order to help you actually get things done.

Of course, the is also a result of the “home field advantage” that a company has when it literally owns and controls all of the pieces of the ecosystem. All of the hardware and all of the software is made by Apple, making it really easy for the company to make it all “just work” together. Unfortunately, as popular as Macs are, the iPhone is even more popular, which means that a great many iPhone users aren’t Mac users, but are actually living on Windows PCs for a whole lot of reasons.

Apple’s taken a kinder and gentler “embrace and extend” philosophy that we’ve seen unfolding over the past few years, starting with Apple Music coming to Android, and then Apple’s TV app landing on everything from competing set-top boxes to smart TVs, and now it appears that it may be doing the same thing to help iPhone users on Windows gain at least some of the type of iPhone integrations that Mac users enjoy.

Dell’s Mobile Connect

According to Bloomberg, Dell has announced that it’s releasing a major new software package that’s going to let users on its laptop computers actually mirror their iPhone screen right on their laptops, as well as receiving notifications and sending texts from their paired iPhones, and dragging and dropping photos, videos, and other files between their iPhone and their PC.

Dell is obviously doing this in order to make its laptops more attractive to iPhone users, which are a much more dominant market force than those who are simply fans of Dell’s particular laptop products, and the company presumably hopes it will help them gain a competitive edge in an era when Windows laptops are becoming increasingly commoditized.

The new features will come as part of an update to Dell’s Mobile Connect software, which has provided this capability for Android smartphones since 2018.

The software will require Windows 10 and only work on Dell XPS, Inspiron, Vostro and Alienware laptops.

It also apparently requires an iPhone app to be downloaded and installed onto the user’s iPhone, so it’s not nearly as seamless a solution as using a MacBook and at this point it’s not even clear how much Apple was involved in Dell’s new solution, but it’s easy to see how this benefits Apple in making the iPhone a more compelling solution for those users who aren’t about to delve more deeply into the Mac ecosystem.

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