March 25, 2020

Dell now lets you control iPhones from its PCs

Dell, iPhone, PC

If you’re an iPhone user with a modern Dell computer, you can now mirror your phone’s screen to your PC and control it using Dell’s Mobile Connect app. Version 3 of the iOS app lets you control your phone using your PC’s keyboard and mouse, and you can also drag and drop photo and video files to transfer them between the two devices. You can also now send SMS messages without needing to keep the iPhone app open in the foreground.

The features, which were first announced at CES earlier this year, brings the app’s iPhone functionality more into line with what it already offers on Android, where it has supported these features for a couple of years now. However, the two platforms haven’t quite reached parity. Dell’s website notes that file transfers on iOS are limited to photos and videos, for example, while Android supports music and documents.

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Alongside the new iOS functionality, Dell says Android users will now be able to use their computers to send MMS files from their smartphones.

Dell isn’t the only company that’s working on letting you control your phone using your Windows PC. Most notably, Microsoft’s Your Phone app works on Windows 10 regardless of who manufactured the specific hardware it’s running on. Last year Microsoft updated its Android app with the ability to route calls from your phone to your PC and is also testing similar screen mirroring functionality to what Dell offers.

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However, Microsoft’s current iOS app is more limited compared to the Android version and doesn’t support screen mirroring. Huawei also has its own version of the technology that will also work with its tablets, but it’s entirely limited to Huawei hardware. Similarly, Apple’s Handoff feature has long enabled seamless interoperability between Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

In order to use Dell’s new app, you’ll need to own a Dell laptop from 2018 or later, and your iPhone needs to be running iOS 11 or above. Supported Dell laptop ranges include its XPS, Inspiron, Vostro, Alienware, and the G Series. Dell says the update will be rolling out gradually over the course of this week.

The Verge