It’s a huge convenience to be able to respond to text messages and view incoming phone notifications right from your computer, so Dell has created a new app called Mobile Connect that lets you do just that and plans to ship the app on most of its new PCs. The app syncs calls and notifications, lets you respond to them from your PC, and when connected to an Android phone, can mirror its screen completely so that you can navigate apps right from your computer.
I saw a demo of the Mobile Connect app hooked up to an Android phone at a briefing last month, and it worked seamlessly. When a call came in, it immediately appeared on the laptop’s screen, and using mirroring, a Dell rep was able to pull up Uber and see nearby cabs.
A lot of those features are already available to Windows users — including notification syncing, through Cortana — but they’re not necessarily presented in such an obvious fashion as they are here. If Dell can expose this feature to more users, that’s a great thing for its computers’ usability (though users will still have to install a companion app on their phone).
What’s most interesting here, though, is that Dell says it can also sync calls and messages from iPhones, despite Apple’s typically locked-down nature. I didn’t get a chance to see this in action, but Dell says that it will work. And if it does — even if the feature is more limited than for Android phones — that’s a big advantage for Dell.
Dell isn’t quite the first PC manufacturer to ship an app like this. For one, Cortana handles some of these features. But HP has also started to offer texting, calling, and notification syncing through an app called Phone Wise, however it’s limited right now to just three business-focused laptops.
Photography by Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge