CES 2018 | Dell wants to seamlessly integrate your PC and mobile experience with Dell Mobile Connect
Dell is taking on products such as AirDroid with their new Mobile Connect ecosystem that runs on Dell PCs in addition to Android and iOS devices. As far as we are aware, Dell is the first PC manufacturer to provide this level of integration between their computers and the customer’s smartphone. The software allows full integration for calls, texts (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Venmo, etc.), and notifications, in addition to screen mirroring on Android to a floating window that allows the use of other applications running on the phone. Dell points out that the intention is for PC to smartphone integration and casual mobile gaming, not media streaming and action gaming.
The connection is handled via Bluetooth or WiFi Direct, so phones can auto-connect while still in a pocket or nearby bag. There is a pause function for times when the user wants notifications to stop, such as when the notebook is being used for presentations, or when it is being shared with a colleague. Hardware requirements for the Windows program are a 1.0 GHz 64-bit CPU, 2 GB RAM, Intel HD graphics or better, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi Direct, and Windows 10 RS2 64-bit. For Android, there is support for Android 5.0 through 8.0, and in the Apple ecosystem, there is support for iOS 10 and iOS 11.
Regarding security concerns, both the Bluetooth and WiFi Direct connections are point-to-point, so transmissions never travel through a router or via the internet. Dell described the link as ‘secure’ but didn’t give any details on whether any software specific encryption is applied outside of that provided by the wireless connection method chosen.
The Dell Mobile Connect application will come pre-installed on Dell XPS, Alienware, Inspiron, and Vostro systems sold from January 2018.
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