Technology

The Intel Unison app syncs your iPhone with any Windows 11 PC. Here’s how to get it. – Tech Tribune France

What do you want to know

  • Intel announced its Unison app for connecting Android and iPhone to PC in the fall of 2022.
  • The application was expected to be released in limited quantities for select Intel Evo PCs.
  • Intel Unison was quietly released at the end of November and is already available.
  • While Intel claims that Unison is available “on eligible Intel Evo projects”, I can install it on any PC, including Qualcomm ARM based PCs.

In early September, Intel announced its new Unison application, based on technology from its acquisition of Israeli startup Screenovate (read my details and interview on the subject). The software is similar to Microsoft’s Phone Link (also known as Your Phone) in that it allows you to connect your smartphone to a Windows PC to receive notifications, text messages, phone calls, and more.

– Publicity –

However, the big difference with Intel Unison is that it also runs on Apple’s iOS, which Phone Link does not. Indeed, all the same functions work as on Android, including photos, file transfer, sending and receiving messages, notifications.

At the time, Intel noted that Unison would first launch on select 12th Gen Intel Evo systems from Acer, HP, and Lenovo “this holiday season,” but we haven’t heard from Intel or the PC maker since its release.

It turns out that it already exists and can be found in the Microsoft store.

Intel Unison logo and Windows 11 startup screen. (Image credit: future)

According to reviews, the app was supposed to be released around November 22nd, although I’m not sure exactly when it was released. Users also need to install the respective apps from Google Play and the Apple App Store, pairing is done with a simple QR code and permissions.

Perhaps most interestingly, the app works on any Windows 11 PC I’ve tried, despite Intel’s claim that it only works “on eligible Intel Evo designs.”

For example, I successfully installed Intel Unison on a Microsoft Studio for Surface laptop with an 11th Gen Intel processor in addition to a Lenovo ThinkPad X13 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 ARM processor. Of course, both should be excluded, but they worked great paired with iOS or Android.

What incoming notifications look like with Intel Unison in Windows 11. (Image credit: future)

Unsurprisingly, Intel Unison has also worked on HP’s latest Dragonfly laptops (Elite Dragonfly G3 and Dragonfly Folio G3) based on Intel’s 12th Gen Evo designs and my 13th Gen Core i9 desktop PC, which is not part of the Intel program.

In terms of performance, the Unison is similar to Microsoft’s Phone Link, but handles connections better (assuming it supports Wi-Fi Direct, not on the same network). And while the current iteration does not support application mirroring, the feature is likely to come later when Intel develops an application for Unison.

However, being able to receive notifications, view photos, send files, and receive text messages on iPhone is a real treat. In the short time I played with Unison on an iPhone 13 Mini, I didn’t notice any difference between the experience and Android. The only change is that you need to take an extra step during setup to enable Bluetooth pairing.

Users can control which apps allow notifications in Intel Unison. (Image credit: future)

The downside I noticed compared to Microsoft Phone Link is that you can only sync one PC and one smartphone at a time. I expect Intel to address this issue in future versions of Unison, but for now this is a limitation on some Windows phones or laptops.

Of course, when Dell got its Mobile Connect app (based on Screenovate before Intel bought the company), users could also install it on any Windows PC for a short time. Dell finally figured it out and limited the ability to install through the Microsoft Store. I wouldn’t be surprised if Intel does the same, although the company has indicated that Unison will be open with some restrictions.

Viewing photos on my iPhone 13 Mini via Intel Unison worked great. (Image credit: future)

The Intel Evo advantage comes into play for Unison, perhaps with optimizations around the Intel 6x Wi-Fi platform and mobile processors where it will have better control over the entire connectivity stack.

Either way, if you’ve always wanted to connect your iPhone to your Windows PC, it might be time to set it up, especially if you’re using older hardware.

Disclaimer: I haven’t tested it on all Windows PC variants, so your mileage may vary.

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