Your Phone and Your PC: How to Optimise Communication
Most of us have more than one electronic device, and getting electronics to talk to each other isn’t always easy. However, in recent years there have been a whole host of app releases that make getting your mobile and your PC to communicate is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Today we’re looking at computer and mobile communication, talking about why you would want to connect your devices, and hitting some of the high points and recommending some awesome apps for you.
Why Would I Want To?
Okay, there are two simple reasons why you would want your mobile and your computer to be able to communicate. The first is that you’re away from your computer, but need to access something that’s on your PC. Maybe you forgot to send that presentation you’ve been working on, and need a way to access your home PC from the office so that you don’t get fired…
The second reason is the opposite. Maybe you’re already at your PC and would rather have the convenience of say, typing on a real keyboard to send your SMS, rather than having to fiddle around on your smart phone.
Essentially, allowing your computer and mobile to communicate with each other just gives you added convenience. Interconnected devices mean that you’re not reliant on just one device to do what you need to do, and that’s always pretty handy…
Before we get into more specialised apps, there are a few ways of accessing all your information from both your phone and your PC. Whilst these aren’t exactly apps designed for device communication, they can make your life easier. We’re talking cloud here, and having cloud accounts means that you can access your info no matter where you are or which device you’re using.
The most popular of these apps are things like DropBox and Google Drive, both of which will allow you to store a file and then access it from wherever. Of course, these don’t necessarily solve your problems, since you do need to remember to upload your files to a cloud account. Which is going to bring us to slightly more complex solutions…
Probably the most frequently used remote desktop app is LogMeIn Ignition. In basic terms you download the programme onto your PC, download the app onto your phone, and you’re good to go. You’ll be able to remotely access your computer using your phone. The big draw of LogMeIn is that it works for Androids and iOS, for Macs and PCs, and also that the basic version is free. If you want more control you’ll need to pay for a pro version, but casual users should be fine with the gratis app. LogMeIn is easy to use, another strong point in its favour…
AllCast is a very basic app that allows you to mirror your mobile screen onto your PC. You get no control here, meaning you simply see a picture of your screen and can’t press any icons. However, if all you’re looking for is a way to get your mobile videos, pictures or even game play on a larger screen, then the free and easy to use AllCast is the simplest way to do this. AllCast is Android only at the moment…
Stuck at work? Don’t want to risk the wrath of your boss by getting out your phone? Or maybe you just prefer to send an SMS using a real keyboard. That’s exactly what Mighty Text does. This app allows you to send SMSs, MMSs and group chat messages using your PC’s browser, and it even syncs all your messages with your phone too (meaning you don’t lose any important info). Sipmle to use and free, Mighty Text is Android only right now… (though iPhone users can use Apple Messaging to get the same effect).
Desktop Notifications or Push Bullet
The name really says it all. This handy little app allows you to get all of your phone notifications on your desktop. That means that you don’t need to pull out your mobile to see who’s calling or who just sent you that message, which is pretty darn convenient. Be warned that the app will only work with Chrome or Firefox and you will need to download an additional browser extension (which is as simple as pressing a link, don’t worry), but then you’ll never need to take your phone out of your pocket in the office again… Android only right now, but free. Push Bullet is an almost identical app that accomplishes the same thing (though we prefer the set up process of Desktop Notifications, which was slightly easier).
Splashtop Remote Desktop
Splashtop is another app that will allow you to remotely access your PC from your mobile. However, along with the usual access to your regular files, Splashtop also supports access to your iTunes or Google Play account and plays Flash too, meaning that you can get all your entertainment as well as that important presentation… The desktop app is free, though the phone app will cost you a couple of pounds. Available for Android and iOS.
Your Manufacturer’s Software…
Finally, it is worth mentioning that most major mobile manufacturers do have their own PC software. Samsung has the Kies programme, for example. Whilst in some cases it’s not necessary to download your phone’s software it might be a good idea. Using Samsung software you can share screens from mobile to desktop, and other manufacturer’s have similar features. Not only that, but downloading your manufacturer’s programme generally gives you the opportunity to back up your mobile and all its data, which is never a bad thing. Again, this might not be the perfect solution to your problem, but it’s worth considering getting your manufacturer’s programme first and seeing what you can do with it before branching out to other options.
And there you have it, our top recommendations for phone to computer communication. Download some of these, and pretty soon your devices will be best friends!