The inability to easily and reliably share data between a smartphone, laptop, or desktop has been a source of annoyance for Windows PC users who also own an iPhone.

Apple has reinforced a strong ecosystem reputation with its products and core device operating systems, highlighting the benefits of enabling files, text messages and even Continuity experiences between its Mac computers, iPads and iPhones. Have done

Apple reportedly has about 1.2 billion active iPhones at the end of 2022, and Microsoft says there are about 1.4 billion Windows 10 or 11 users.

Given Microsoft’s massive market share in the PC space, this will translate to hundreds of millions of Windows users with iPhones who can’t participate in Apple’s ecosystem, especially through shared text messaging using Windows PCs. Together.

The ability to seamlessly integrate the PC and mobile experience so that all of our devices work together with minimal friction provides nearly endless user benefits. Multiple mobile and client PC operating systems must work together to fully enable maximum consumer interoperability.

To bridge this gap over the years, some PC makers, notably Dell, have made valiant attempts to do so with varying degrees of success. With its Link to Windows app for mobile and Windows Phone Link app, Microsoft has tried to make iOS devices a more compelling component of the Windows ecosystem. My experience with these solutions has been a mixed bag of irritation with minor usefulness.

Flash forward to 2023: Intel recently released Unison, which desktop and laptop PC OEMs hope to embrace.

benefits of unison

I recently downloaded Intel’s Unison software from the Microsoft App Store and tested it on my Evo-certified HP Elite Dragonfly G3 laptop. Pairing it with my iPhone 14 Pro Max only required scanning a QR code and following on-screen instructions to grant the PC client access to my contacts, message log, etc.

Because Apple has refused to provide the software support needed to integrate iOS devices directly into the Windows ecosystem, companies such as Microsoft and Intel have been “creative” to bring the Windows and iOS device ecosystems together without Apple’s explicit permission. (Translated: Workaround) Looking for ways. Help.

With Unison, users can access and manage their smartphones from a single laptop, reducing production disruptions that can result from frequent device changes.

If you try to focus on work on your laptop while managing phone calls, SMS and app alerts on your mobile device, you may get distracted. Consolidating those distractions onto your laptop screen can be helpful if it’s not possible to suppress them completely.

The Unison app has a Do Not Disturb (DND) toggle that can block all app notifications, allowing users to focus on work without being distracted by their phone.

Users of Unison can do several things, including detaching their phone that is connected by Unison to their laptop, and then making and receiving calls and sending text messages from the computer. While some of this capability isn’t new, the functionality is nice because it works with phones running iOS and Android and has a wide range of network configurations.

screenovate on core

The technology involved in Unison comes from Screenovate. In 2021, Intel bought the Israeli business that pioneered smartphone-to-display projection and is developing various cross-device experiences.

Some system OEMs had already incorporated Screenovate’s background technology and rebranded it into their own solutions, including Dell with its Dell Mobile Connect (which, incidentally, is sunsetting) and HP with Phonewise is included, which the company shut down in 2019. The irony is that you may already be using the Screenovate technique without even realizing it.

Intel says that during the integration of Screenovate’s architecture into Unison, it placed significant emphasis on platform power savings and improvements to UI and networking behavior. Power-related efforts have emphasized that Unison won’t be a huge battery drainer on the host laptop as it runs naturally in the background.

complex connectivity

Various hardware and communication technologies are now associated with many hybrid and remote workers switching from office to home-based work and shifting between Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, and cellular-only settings.

Although Intel promises a seamless experience across WAN, Wi-Fi, cloud, cellular, and Bluetooth connections, and requires a link to a Unison-compliant PC with Android or iOS devices, Unison’s actual connectivity Nuts and bolts are a bit complicated. ,

The text messaging window of the Intel Unison app displayed on a laptop screen

intel unison text messaging window

This is important because equivalent technologies from companies like Samsung or Dell Mobile Connect can only be tailored for a specific set of Android phones. While targeting Android, the Your Phone utility in Windows 10 and the Connect to Phone app in Windows 11 only offer a fraction of Unison’s capability.

In this case, the Unison should cover a wide range of phones currently on the market, regardless of your current connection setup. Intel supports calls, SMS, alerts, and photo/file transfers as the four main types of phone-on-PC activities with its initial release of Unison.

With Unison on my Evo-certified HP laptop, I could use it to initiate and answer calls. I could send and receive SMS messages on my HP laptop, view them on my laptop through the Unison app, and reply to them there. I can even start sending messages from the Windows desktop as if I’m using my iPhone.

Intel Unison Gallery

Intel Unison Gallery

Last but not least, technology has made it easy to share files and photos between a smartphone and a laptop, allowing me, for example, to view photos in Unison’s Gallery on my laptop app.

Acer, HP and Lenovo are Intel’s initial launch partners with Unison, now available on Evo Designs running 13th generation Intel Core processors.

What is the difference between unison?

As mentioned earlier, such solutions already exist in Windows 10 and 11 from phone and PC makers. Still, Unison has a particularly bold ambition to provide the same functionality on both iOS and Android.

Unlike what is currently available, Unison is based on open and standard APIs and interfaces. The user interface (UI) of the Unison app makes a difference, especially in the file-transfer experience.

For all practical purposes, the contents of Unison Gallery are refreshingly simple to use after syncing up as any other file on your desktop because a lot of thought has gone into the design and ease of use. Kudos to Intel in that department.

There’s a reason Intel is launching Unison on the Evo first. The company wants to improve the experience, and it starts with the kind of people who will buy an Evo PC: highly mobile, highly connected productivity hunters. For example, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi stack elements are being intentionally implemented to ensure a smooth, high-quality experience.

In addition, connection flexibility is important but difficult to work with both wired and wireless technologies. A Bluetooth connection between devices would be ideal for handling smartphone conversations via your Evo laptop, although Wi-Fi makes more sense for file transfers.

There is also an option to use the phone’s cellular network in specific circumstances when interacting with Unison via the cloud. Some options, for example, may be a phone and a laptop connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

You will need to download the Unison app from the App Store or Google Play. You’ll need iOS 15 or Android 9 or later for your phone’s operating system.

Theoretically, Unison could be made available as a download for other devices as Unison is not tightly tied to the hardware features of the 12th or 13th generation Core Evo platforms. So, even though Unison may be a limited release technology, once the quirks of the technology are worked out, it may be implemented on other, perhaps older, instruments.

closing thoughts

First, it’s important to give credit to any company trying to solve a problem that has plagued the Windows PC space since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. I can talk about the joy and benefits of being part of the Apple ecosystem with the MacBook Pro, iPhone. , iPad, and Apple Watch are all playing an important integrated role in my daily work.

As the “quasi-CIO” of my extended family spread across the country, I am often called upon to resolve my family members’ tech support issues. Everyone using Apple-branded products makes it a much easier burden to bear.

I wish I could report that Intel Unison delivered on its ambitious promise to integrate the iPhone into the Apple ecosystem without compromise. Unfortunately, I can’t, because you’ll have to make some compromises.

While SMS text messaging is a step in the right direction, Unison still doesn’t feature full-fledged rich media such as video files and rich content previews, so text messaging from Windows-based laptops is relatively primitive. MacOS users know the joy of messaging from their Mac desktop or laptop using a traditional keyboard, not a touchscreen. Unison has a lot of work to do in this area.

Furthermore, any existing iMessages on your phone will not be available on your Windows PC using the Unison app. After you install the software, it only works with new text messages you’ve sent or received. If you have long threads of existing iMessages stored on your iPhone then you are out of luck.

Finally, if you close the app, you lose all the text messages on your PC that you synced with when you reopen the app. This aberration is going to be problematic for many iPhone users.

Apple continues to lead the charge

Other limitations exist, such as in order to use Unison, you must have your iPhone connected to your Windows PC, and it must be constantly by your side to enable connectivity functionality. In terms of the Apple ecosystem, you can send and receive iMessages on your macOS device or iPad with an Internet connection, even if your iPhone isn’t on without you.

Intel Unison is a work in progress at this point. While it’s certainly better than nothing for Windows users (an admittedly low bar), the overall ecosystem experience is nowhere near what Apple continues to offer without compromise.

I may be the eternal optimist, but it may ultimately be up to Apple to make a business decision on providing native support for Windows PC integration, which it could easily do. Although I struggle with what Apple’s upside might be in this scenario, given its massive market share in the smartphone space.

The indisputable fact is that Apple needs more than Intel or Microsoft to fix this problem. Until that dynamic changes, Windows users won’t have the world-class cross device integration experience that Apple users enjoy primarily in the text messaging arena.

In line with the ongoing shift in workplace strategies, HP on Wednesday introduced a new hybrid line of computers and workplace accessories at CES 2023 to meet the growing needs of displaced workers.

The hybrid design provides users with greater flexibility and freedom in their personal lives. However, according to Alex Cho, president of Personal Systems at HP, it also brings its own set of challenges for people to stay productive and connected with others. The company addresses those matters with designs to meet the demands and needs of a hybrid work and lifestyle.

To help take productivity to the next level, HP announces its new Dragonfly Pro portfolio for freelancers, a line of innovative monitors, Poly Voyager Free 60 Series pro-grade wireless earbuds, redefining audio experiences To pick up, the HP 620/625 FHD webcam, and a rechargeable mouse with extended battery life.

dragonfly pro chromebook

With the freelancer community expected to exceed 50% of the total US workforce by 2027, HP’s Dragonfly brand technology gives freelancers a surefire path to enhanced experiences around multitasking and heavy workloads. The new HP Dragonfly Pro portfolio helps reduce friction in users’ lives with powerful audio, camera, touchscreen, all-day battery life and 24/7 live concierge support and services for seamless productivity.

The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, with its 14″ display, is designed for people who are constantly connected to the Internet, want an easy-to-use device with premium features and design, and enjoy a wide variety of content on the go consume. This clamshell chromebook features an 8 MP user-facing camera and a bright 1,200-nit touchscreen display.

It’s Intel Evo-Verified for fast performance, connectivity and charging – and offers seamless pairing between phone and device, a standard Chromebook feature.

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook 14-inch, Ceramic White in top and side view

Dragonfly Pro Chromebook | Image credits: HP

The new HP Dragonfly Pro was co-engineered with AMD, using the company’s Adaptive Platform Management framework, which optimizes performance in real-world productivity scenarios. It is also the first HP device to feature one-touch access to HP 24/7 live concierge support directly through one of four hotkeys.

Control Center hotkeys allow quick access to the most common device settings. A camera hotkey lets a user easily adjust camera settings, and a fourth key is customizable to improve workflow or allow simpler navigation. The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook will be available in Ceramic White (shown above) and Sparkling Black.

Three new options for collaboration

In addition to Chromebooks, HP introduced the Dragonfly G4, EliteBook 1040 G10 and Elite x360 1040 G10 to deliver better collaboration experiences with intuitive videoconferencing innovations to support hybrid work. This includes:

  • multi-camera experience to support dual video streams and camera switching to display faces and an object or a whiteboard simultaneously, picture-in-picture or side-by-side;
  • select auto camera Uses intelligent face tracking to identify which camera the user is facing to keep the audience engaged without breaking eye contact;
  • HP Keystone Improvements Enables whiteboard or physical document sharing by automatically cropping and flattening images from the camera feed with a single click; And
  • hp b write back Allows users to switch their video feed to a still picture without interrupting meetings when a break is needed.

HP Dragonfly G4 Plus Natural Silver and Slay Blue

Dragonfly G4 Available Colors Natural Silver and Slate Blue | Image credits: HP

The latest HP Dragonfly and Elite 1000 Series PCs use 90% recycled magnesium in the enclosure case, 5% ocean-bound plastic in the speaker enclosure, and bio-circular materials such as cooking oil to help reduce waste.2 emissions.

Advanced Home Office Monitors

HP explains its new design line that enriching hybrid workspaces in the home or office is all about the right tools and technologies to reflect the preferred work style. Completing the PC ecosystem, HP announced new monitors, accessories and services. All monitors in this range are comprised of 90% recycled and renewable materials, such as coffee grounds and recycled aluminum.

With display sizes ranging from 21.5″ to 44.5″ diagonally, the HP E-Series G5 monitors blend into the home or office with sleek and elegant design. The series offers a variety of options to help hybrid workers stay focused and connected with 4K resolution on select models, curved and ultrawide screens, 99% sRGB, and matching accessories.

HP monitors, from left to right, are the E-Series G5, E45c Curved, M-Series FHD

Shown from left to right are the HP monitors E-Series G5, E45c Curved, and M-Series FHD. Image credits: HP

HP’s Eye Ease feature reduces blue light exposure, and the ambient light sensor automatically adjusts screen brightness. HP E45c G5 Monitor is a 45″ Super UltraWide Dual QHD Curved Monitor which provides more immersive viewing experience. A new Virtual Dual Display feature provides the ability to replace two 24″ QHD monitors with one huge display.

For home workers, learners, and entertainment users, the HP M24h and M27h FHD monitors upgrade home setups with improved ergonomics to ensure perfect posture and viewing angles. It is also the first monitor series with an easy setup guide, accessible through the integrated display software.

Wireless Earbuds with Poly Audio Technology

HP also introduced the Poly Voyager Free 60 Series lineup of pro-grade wireless earbuds for the hybrid lifestyle. The new devices offer up to five hours of talk time with Adaptive Active Noise Canceling (ANC) and WindSmart technology to block out distracting background noise.

The standard version includes a charging case that provides an additional 10 hours of talk time. The Poly Voyager Free 60+ comes with a smart charging case that features an OLED touchscreen display with access to volume and mute functions, faster insights into battery life and call status, and a 3.5mm analog input for easy connection to in-flight entertainment systems Is. ,

Poly Voyager Free 60+ White Sand USB-C

Poly Voyager Free 60+ earbuds, smart charge case and accessories. Color options Sand White (shown here) and Carbon Black | Image credit: HP/Poly

These wireless earbuds come in Carbon Black or Sand White and feature a sleek, modern design for all-day comfort and flexibility. The Poly Lens mobile app lets users personalize their Poly device settings while IT teams can gain management and insight.

new webcam and mouse

The Zoom-certified 1080p HP 620/625 FHD webcam features dual noise-canceling microphones, an adjustable field of view, and video. These include auto focus, AI face framing and background light enhancement.

HP 620-625 FHD webcam front view

HP 620/625 FHD Webcam | Image credits: HP

The webcam saves precious seconds with Windows Hello facial recognition compatibility and captures all angles with 360-degree swivel and 90-degree tilt for added flexibility.

The webcam’s sustainability features include 71% post-consumer recycled plastic and 100% recyclable packaging.

The HP 710 Rechargeable Silent Mouse allows individuals to get work done with a compact ambidextrous design, silent clicks, and up to 90 days of battery life. Its six programmable buttons for custom shortcuts enable users to maximize their workflow and work across up to three saved devices with multi-OS compatibility.

HP 710 Rechargeable Silent Mouse

HP 710 Rechargeable Silent Mouse | Image credits: HP

Built for the Intel Evo Laptop Accessories Program, the mouse provides reliable connectivity when paired with an Intel Evo laptop. The HP 710 is made from 60% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Availability and Pricing

HP’s new computer line for remote work and freelancers is expected to arrive on HP.com this spring. Pricing not yet available.

The E-Series G5 monitors are expected to be available in January at a starting price of $219, and the M-Series monitors are slated for this spring, starting at $209 — both on HP.com.

The Poly Voyager Free 60 Series earbuds are due in March on Poly.com and HP.com, starting at $299 — also available in a Microsoft Teams-certified version.

Look for the HP 620/625 FHD Webcam for $109.99 and the HP 710 Rechargeable Silent Mouse for $79.99 on HP.com in January.

Do you use a desktop computer or laptop with a large screen monitor as your daily driver? Either way, adding a second display will more than double the convenience and productivity.

Intel’s P15NF 15.6″ QLED Portable Monitor can boost your work and play performance. This plug and play, no configuration required portable panel is a perfect FreeSync HDR gaming or work monitor.

If you manage to play computer games on your smartphone, or travel a lot, the lightweight, P15NF lets you bring a big-screen powerhouse to life in a handy 0.17″ x 14″ x 9.1″ package that weighs only 1.41 lbs.

The display delivers a stunning FHD 100% DCI-P3 color gamut with 500-nit brightness and has an impressive assortment of connection ports: two USB-C, one mini-HDMI, one Type-C OTG , and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Intehill P15NF as a desktop display

The Intehill 15.6″ portable monitor has enough real estate and enough features to be a full-service desktop display. (image credit: Intihill)

An on-the-go (OTG) port isn’t always included on portable monitors, but having it increases convenience and productivity. The OTG adapter allows you to connect a full-sized USB flash drive or USB-A cable to your phone or tablet via a micro USB or USB-C charging port.

The monitor’s right edge sports a mini-HDMI port and two full-featured Type-C ports for turning this screen into a portable laptop and computer monitor.

It is also ideal for PS5/4, Xbox, Steam Deck and Switch. The monitor’s power ports include a USB-A to USB-C connector with a wall socket power plug, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable.

unbeatable screen performance

The QLED panel with 10-bit color depth delivers an immersive visual experience. It offers better text clarity and vivid image colors in both portrait and landscape view.

The display offers a 178° viewing angle that doesn’t look washed out or faded at the edges of the screen. You can set the panel’s menus to intensify the flicker-free display and adjust for a low blue light mode that helps reduce eye strain when staring at the screen for long intervals.

Intihill 15.6-inch portable display connected to HP Chromebase

The Model P15NF’s 500-nit visual display (R) is connected to a Chromebase computer with a 250-nit, 21.5-inch display. Note that the portable monitor displays a ChromeOS bottom docking bar, which essentially gives full functionality without launching from the main display and dragging it to a second monitor.

business view standard

Another contributing factor to this solidly built portable panel is the difference that DCI-P3 (Digital Cinema Initiative – Protocol 3) over sRGB brings into the picture.

DCI-P3 is a new technical standard for a set of colors from the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), designed to standardize the colors used in the film industry .

sRGB is an older color display standard that was jointly created by HP and Microsoft in 1996 for use on monitors, printers, and the Internet.

While the older sRGB standard is still common in portable monitors, DCI-P3 brings a wider color gamut and its use in this device is a boon for gamers and graphic professionals. Especially if you use the monitor outside, or in brightly lit offices or graphic studios, the P15NF model with DCI-P3 is more visible.

Intihill Monitor Vinodes 10 Display Adjustment

The Integral Monitor (L) in Microsoft Windows 10 Display Adjustment requires only a minor configuration change. Note that each monitor is showing different content and bottom bar for full functionality.

Smart Cover, Dumb Results

The so-called Smart Cover included in the box is a typical weak point for a portable monitor. Most come with some sort of fold-around case to protect the panel while carrying and storing it. The Smart Cover also doubles as a tabletop stand.

Intel Smart Cover
Intel Smart Cover

Unless you love solving puzzles and folding origami creatures, Smart Cover on a monitor can be a pointless and frustrating experience. In this case, however, the textured surface of the cover is a non-slip surface that wraps neatly around the panel.

The heavy plastic vinyl material around a small magnet helps keep the cover attached to the back of the monitor. Its trifold design is more rigid and usable, thanks to a smaller hinge-like reinforcement that forms part of the center of the folding section.

Still, when I use this monitor for long work sessions, I stick to two double-sided pieces of mounting tape. One piece prevents the back flap from sliding off, and another piece prevents the bottom front edge of the panel from sliding forward.

A better solution is to attach a metal mechanism that pulls very much like a picture frame. I’ve only seen that method used on some portable panels.

extra matter

Connectivity is a plus with this monitor. It easily connects to phone, desktop and laptop computers. The only requirement is that the host device must have a Thunderbolt or HDMI port. This is rarely a problem with newer Mac, Windows, Linux, and ChromeOS computers. The panel is also compatible with SteamOS.

Intehill 15.6-inch Portable Panel Dragging Feature

The Intihill Portable Screen (L) displays various content easily by dragging a window from a Linux laptop. With Linux computers, duplicating desktop elements and launchers is not carried over to the second monitor.

The FHD monitor consumes minimal power, which is an added advantage for portable use. It requires 10 watts, but it comes with a 15W power adapter—a sufficient option if the host computer doesn’t power the portable monitor from the connector port.

Since the P15NF model uses less than 10 watts, the 20,000 mAh power bank can keep the monitor working for more than 10 hours when performing regular tasks.

This unit supports all Samsung phones with DeX. You can also extend the screen for the iPhone, but this requires a Lightning to HDMI adapter.

Keep in mind that not all Android phones send an output signal to the USB-C connector. This determines whether your phone works with this portable monitor.

Even my new Moto Stylus 5G (2022) smartphone is dumb in this regard. That result is not Intelehil’s fault.

where to buy

The P15NF 15.6″ QLED Portable Monitor is currently available at the Intelhill Store on Amazon. Its list price is $269.

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