Intel takes a crack at getting Windows PCs to connect seamlessly with Android phones and iPhones

Microsoft has tried with Phone Link. Now Intel is throwing its hat into the PC-phone connectivity ring with Unison.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Intel

While Microsoft continues to put a lot of time and energy in trying to bring seamless connectivity to phones and Windows PCs, its efforts have left a number of customers, especially iPhone users, with less-than-compelling results. On September 27, during its "Intel Innovation" event, Intel announced it would try to improve the mobile-device-to-PC connectivity experience with a new app called Unison.

Intel bought an Israeli startup, Screenovate, in late 2021. This is the company that developed the Dell Mobile Connect software, which Dell recently discontinued. Intel is advancing the Screenovate technology in a way to allow users to use their PCs to perform tasks they'd usually do on their phones, like make phone calls, send SMS texts, transfer files and photos and more.

Microsoft's Phone Link technology does many of these same things, but it only works well on Android-based Samsung or Surface Duo mobile devices. Android devices like my Pixel 6 Pro work very inconsistently and incompletely with Phone Link. And iPhones barely work with it at all (although that is by design on the part of Apple as much as anything). (Microsoft Phone Link is the product formerly known as "Your Phone.")

Intel officials said today that Unison will start rolling out to market on select 12th Gen Intel Core processor-based Evo PCs as of this holiday season. The first PCs to support it will come from Acer, HP and Lenovo. Intel execs said they will expand availability to more Intel Evo PCs early next year as part of the general availability of 13th Gen Intel Core devices. 

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