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Dell's Mobile Connect Application Will Allow Users To Easily Mirror Their Smartphone on PC; To Come Pre-installed On Company's Future PCs (venturebeat.com) 60

From a report on VentureBeat: Smartphones and computers were designed in different eras, and they don't really work well together, forcing us to split our time between them. But Dell is trying to change that with Dell Mobile Connect software, which makes the two devices more interoperable. [...] You can now make and receive phone calls directly from your computer, and you can also send and receive text messages on your PC screen. This allows you to stay connected on your PC without worrying that you're missing phone notifications or calls. And you can use any Android app on your PC. That allows you to bring your small-screen apps like games to a bigger screen. If your computer doesn't have a touchscreen, you can control the mirrored phone game with a keyboard and mouse. [...] Dell will preload the software on new Dell consumer and business PCs, and it has a free smartphone app that works on either Android or iOS. Dell Mobile Connect will be available on all new Dell Inspiron, XPS, Vostro, or Alienware purchased worldwide in January 2018 or later.

Dell's Mobile Connect Application Will Allow Users To Easily Mirror Their Smartphone on PC; To Come Pre-installed On Company's F

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:13PM (#55895859)
    >> stay connected on your PC without worrying that you're missing phone notifications or calls

    Who doesn't have their phone beside them or in their pocket when they're working on a computer? Hell, with most multi-factor authentication schemes, the code/approval comes through your phone, so you're screwed if you don't have it with you.
    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:27PM (#55895953)

      Informative: It's been that way for iOS and Macs for a few years now. Not having to grab your phone to reply to a message is extremely helpful.

      Trolling: Granted it only works for iMessage, but people on Linux/Windows/Android don't matter.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      >> stay connected on your PC without worrying that you're missing phone notifications or calls

      Who doesn't have their phone beside them or in their pocket when they're working on a computer?

      Sounds like classic Dell to me. A shovelware solution in search of a problem.

      • Why should I reply to a text message with my thumbs, when I can use a real keyboard, and a screen big enough to view the entire conversation?

        I have an iPhone and a Macbook, so I can already do this. It is nice, and I use it everyday.

        • And I have been a Google Voice user for years, which means I can SMS from the desktop Hangouts client quite happily and do so. Bonus; I can do it from any computer with a web browser and don't have to use a Mac for it. It's not just an Apple thing (Android user here)

          I'm not sure I get the use case for this app... or indeed why Dell is limiting it to laptops built in 2018 and onward. There's absolutely no technical reason it can't run on older laptops. Plus, software like that has been available for years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      KDE connect provides this on Linux. I get the SMS popups when I do 2factor authentication.
    • >> stay connected on your PC without worrying that you're missing phone notifications or calls

      Who doesn't have their phone beside them or in their pocket when they're working on a computer? Hell, with most multi-factor authentication schemes, the code/approval comes through your phone, so you're screwed if you don't have it with you.

      I raise my hand to that question.

      Get home; take trousers off in bedroom (phone still in pocket); go upstairs and get on computer. Now, I could take my phone out of my pocket and carry it upstairs with me, but I typically don't. When I'm home, my phone frequently isn't in the same room as me regardless of whether I'm on the computer or not.

      • >> take trousers off in bedroom (phone still in pocket); go upstairs and get on computer

        TMI, my friend. But I see your point. Sometimes I use a laptop in bed, and I don't keep my phone in my bedroom.
    • I use this everyday on macOS/iOS. Quicker to reply messages (iMessage/SMS) using a normal keyboard than typing on my phone. A quick FaceTime chat works well too. But I rarely answer a phone call with the Mac because it’s just impolite to put people on speaker without telling them.

    • Let me count the ways:
      - I hate phones. The frequency that I need to make calls is minimal, and for that, I prefer to use Skype.
      - No, don't call me, but if you must -- odds are it is going to voice mail, where I'll listen to it at my convenience...and yes, likely via skype.
      - No, I don't want to receive any text messages. If something is urgent, I'll check your website -- or you can send me email and I'll see it in an hour or so. If I must have an alert system for important stuff, I'd rather it was integr

  • by clovis ( 4684 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:21PM (#55895915)

    Smartphones and computers were designed in different eras, and they don't really work well together, forcing us to split our time between them.

    I feel so bad when I'm awakened in the middle of the night, and there's my PC sitting on my chest, demanding a fair share of the time that I had given to my phone.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Smartphones and computers were designed in different eras, and they don't really work well together, forcing us to split our time between them.

      I feel so bad when I'm awakened in the middle of the night, and there's my PC sitting on my chest, demanding a fair share of the time that I had given to my phone.

      You might want to have an expert check your "PC". Someone may have sold you a cat by mistake.

      • Smartphones and computers were designed in different eras, and they don't really work well together, forcing us to split our time between them.

        I feel so bad when I'm awakened in the middle of the night, and there's my PC sitting on my chest, demanding a fair share of the time that I had given to my phone.

        You might want to have an expert check your "PC". Someone may have sold you a cat by mistake.

        That's the problem with ordering things via Alexa. "Alexa, order me a PC", 2 days later brown cardboard box arrives poked with holes and a Pussy Cat steps out.

      • Did they brought it from ebay [xkcd.com]?
      • by clovis ( 4684 )

        Turns out what I thought was my PC on top of me showing a half-dressed woman was actually my wife.
        She saw a roach running around, and it's the male's duty to dispatch any such creatures found in the house ... now.

  • by WankerWeasel ( 875277 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:25PM (#55895931)
    So you'll be able to make calls and text on your PC..... like macOS has offered for years? The addition of running Android apps is nice. Though most of the most useful apps have a desktop counterpart that generally offers a better workflow, as it's been designed for use on the desktop.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I do not care what anyone says, your communications are monitored. It just happens - that's the way these systems work.

    And it's all stored.

    I'm a despot wannabe. I'd like to be Stalin^10. And what I see in today's tech, I could do it - if I could get to be POTUS.

    Just say'in.

  • Dell announces they are stopping support for "Dell Mobile Connect".
  • No thanks ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:29PM (#55895967)

    Dell will preload the software on new Dell consumer and business PCs, and it has a free smartphone app that works on either Android or iOS

    Now there is an absolutely epic security fail in the making ... an application with tethers your phone and PC together, to allow you to control either from the other.

    Which pretty much means a guaranteed attack surface against both of them.

    This positively smacks of a remote exploit which is inevitable.

    And it's more crapware which comes bundled with a PC to make it even slower and more annoying to use.

    I'm sorry, but over and over when companies try to add convenience, they absolutely fuck up both privacy and security.

    • Now there is an absolutely epic product offering in the making ... an application that automatically signs you up for a service that monitors identity theft and restores all your data from the cloud after it's been wiped from your computer and phone.

      FTFY.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...On the Mac. I can text to/from anybody on the Mac (or an iPad), I can call/answer calls on the Mac, etc.

    Very handy when you leave your phone in the bedroom, for example, but are at the computer doing something. Simply answer the phone at the computer using the built in mic/speaker.

    I can create a doc on the iPhone. Then come home and edit it on the Mac. Do a final revision and send it from my recliner in a text from the iPad.

    Run a smartphone app (likely in a window) on the computer? That doesn
  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @03:44PM (#55896031)
    I have been able to do that with Android phone, via Hangouts, for years. I very seldom use the phone and messaging capabilities of my cell phone provider (T-Mobile) relying instead on the data feed. In fact, if I could have a plan with data alone, I would - keeping the phone/messaging stuff is so obsolete.
  • If history is any indication, this software will definitely work flawlessly, won't open you computer up to additional vulnerabilities, and bosses will love that their employees can now spend more time on faceboook instead of doing, um, you know, that thing they pay you to do.

    I can see this as a great sticker item for consumer PCs, you know, that little sticker that says what it can do but turns out can't, but you don't realize it until after you've bought it. For business PCs this is a huge reason NOT to bu

    • OS: Windows 10 Mobile

      Seriously?

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Yes, I'm serious. Did you not see the link?
        • Yes, I followed the link. Windows 10 mobile, however, is dead. How useful is that?

          • by DogDude ( 805747 )
            A. It's not dead. It works just fine. I'm using it right now.

            B. I was just pointing out that Dell didn't invent this. Microsoft, at least, did, several years ago. Maybe somebody else did it before Microsoft, I don't know.
  • by pnutjam ( 523990 ) <slashdot.borowicz@org> on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @04:02PM (#55896143) Homepage Journal
    This sounds identical to KDEconnect, except for Windows.
  • by nealric ( 3647765 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @04:26PM (#55896291)

    I've been waiting for things to get to the point that desktop hardware is essentially redundant. Smartphones will be able to easily pair wirelessly to a keyboard/monitor/mouse and switch into desktop mode. One device to rule them all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've been waiting for things to get to the point that desktop hardware is essentially redundant

      If that happens, it won't be for years to come.

      Sorry, my desktop is an 8-core/16GB RAM unit with several TB of attached storage and two fairly big displays attached.

      Not only can't a mobile OS provide me with that level of resources, the OS itself is incapable of replacing a desktop.

      I own both Android and iOS devices, and neither is up to the task of replacing my desktop, and both are a LONG way away from it.

      Eventu

      • by jezwel ( 2451108 )
        You missed the part where you run terminal services / VCD and have the full power of whatever you are connected to displayed via your phone to your connected high-res monitor. I'm quite positive you can rent more cores/ram/storage from a cloud service at a cheap price when you need it.
        Nvidia is releasing their game streaming service with a dedicated GPU per user so even that is getting closer.
        If I can stream from my steam-playing gaming device to my dock-connected mobile device that's pretty much the same
      • Sorry, my desktop is an 8-core/16GB RAM unit with several TB of attached storage and two fairly big displays attached.

        You are not a typical user. The typical user needs a browser, email, a selection of streaming apps and some casual games.

        Any smartphone on the market will easily fulfill those requirements.

    • You can order a Librem 5 from Purism that will do this. Its main purpose is privacy and security, but is essentially a Linux computer in a phone form factor. https://videos.puri.sm/promo/l... [videos.puri.sm]
  • I've been doing most this with my Nokia since when? 2002? As long as my phone holds up I'll b

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... receive phone calls directly from your computer ...

    Bluetooth has offered this for several years: Connect the phone to the PC and any calls automatically play through the PC headphone/mic set.

    ... send and receive text messages on your PC ...

    While I prefer a PC UI over a fiddly phone, I do not want my PC having continuous access to the contacts list and communication logs from my phone. There was a time when tel-cos offered SMS via an internet gateway, eliminating the need for a continuous connection to the phone.

    ... any Android app on your PC ...

    While a mouse provides accuracy, fingers are faster, so many games aren't usable on a PC. Pl

  • Dell will preload the software on new Dell consumer and business PCs.

    Oh, great. One more piece of pre-installed software I need to uninstall. Honestly, fire up any new computer from Dell, HP, you name it - the number of programs running in the background before you even start any of your own applications is mind-boggling. It's like if you bought a brand new car and they loaded the trunk full of sand before you left the lot.

    I think at one time Alienware was know for not doing this, but they've been purchased by Dell so I don't know if they're any better now.

  • Three years ago. You can already remote your smartphone with an app [howtogeek.com], doing nearly everything they said they want the app to do.
    • Here's another method also: https://android.gadgethacks.com/how-to/fully-control-your-android-device-from-any-computer-0164097/

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