The new system uses a proprietary blend of Bluetooth and WiFi to let you control your smartphone from your laptop, so you can answer texts, make and receive calls and run full apps on your PC. But, as expected, functionality is limited on iPhone -- you can only receive and start calls and messages -- apps are limited to Android, which will even show a mirror of your phone.
During a recent demo, I watched as a text sent to an Android phone arrived on both the handset and the connected XPS 13. I could reply from the laptop, or even pull up contacts to message or call. If you initiated a phone call from your laptop, you'd be using the PC's microphone and speakers for your conversation. On iPhones, you'll be able to see and reply to incoming calls and messages, but receiving alerts from other apps like Facebook and Whatsapp is limited to Android.
Since the iPhone compatibility won't be ready until the end of January, I wasn't able to verify how well it works. But based on what I've seen so far, Dell's Mobile Connect software is a powerful and useful way to keep up with your smartphone notifications as you work on your PC. While other companies have made similar software in the past (Samsung Sidesync, anyone?), none have offered as many features and as much cross-platform compatibility. Mobile Connect could end up being a feature that draws people to Dell laptops in the future, that is, until other companies start offering something as capable.
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