Something to look forward to: Users with Macs and Apple mobile devices have enjoyed a range of connectivity features between those products for years –AirDrop, Handoff, Universal Clipboard, and AirPlay are just a few. Intel recently unveiled software seeking to build similar bridges between Windows PCs and phones running iOS and Android.
Intel will release its new “Unison” app this holiday season. Unison introduces several features that should make sharing work between a Windows PC and an iPhone or Android device effortless. It will initially be exclusive to Intel Evo laptops.
After a quick, one-time setup, users can take a photo or video on their phone and immediately edit it on their PC, seamlessly transferring files between the devices. They can also use the PC to send and receive text messages or voice calls. Furthermore, Unison lets users manage phone notifications through the PC.
However, Intel told The Verge there are differences between what iPhones and Android phones can do with Unison installed. Some advanced messaging features, like full multiparty messaging, are exclusive to Android. Notifications from third-party apps may also behave differently on iOS versus Android, but Intel didn’t explain how.
Unison’s functionality appears broadly similar to Apple’s Continuity toolset, which lets users quickly share control and information between Macs and other Apple devices. However, Continuity includes several features Unison doesn’t have.
Apple’s suite lets users complete Apple Pay transactions on a Mac, an iPhone, or Apple Watch. An Apple Watch can also automatically unlock a Mac. The iPad seamlessly becomes a second screen for a Mac. The Universal Clipboard allows content copied on any Apple device to be pasted on another if done within a few seconds. Additionally, Mac owners have been able to handle iPhone text messages and calls through their laptops even before Apple introduced Continuity.
Unison debuts during the 2022 Holiday season on Alder Lake-based Evo laptops from Acer, HP, and Lenovo. The app will come to more Evo devices early next year when Raptor Lake laptops become available. Intel didn’t say when or if Unison will be available for PCs other than Evo laptops.