Not so long ago, Apple had a significant advantage over competitors due to its convenient ecosystem
. The functionality of iOS and macOS allows you to start writing an article on the iPad, and continue it immediately on a Mac, while adding photos taken on the iPhone. But already now such conveniences have ceased to be the prerogative of Apple devices and are available on any modern Android devices (including Android TV and Wear) and Windows computers.
In this article, I will show you how to create a seamless ecosystem without the need to purchase expensive equipment from Apple.
I will begin this selection with a tool that probably everyone uses: notes. For their creation and further viewing or editing on any device, including a PC, Google has released the Keep service, which has received quite extensive functionality and a nice design.
Here you can create both simple notes and entire lists with subitems, combine them into groups, assign an individual color, add reminders and make handwritten notes. And all this is instantly stored in a secure Google cloud, which allows you to immediately access from another device through the application or by reference
Here I am not without reason I mark the Google Photos
application. The service has a lightweight client for PC, which allows you to view photos in a separate folder in Explorer immediately after synchronization. By the way, it is fast, and the service itself has a sufficient number of functions: sorting by location and things in the photo, quick editing of pictures and videos. Google Photos also has a shameless, branded web service.
By the way, if you are the owner of a smartphone of the Google Pixel line, then you are in luck, because you get unlimited storage for pictures in the original resolution. Regular users are provided with only 15 GB for free, though there were craftsmen with XDA-Developers who emulated Pixel using ROOT rights and received privileges.
GamingThis service is designed more for Android TV, because on a huge TV screen, playing some titles is much more pleasant. It's about Steam Link. At the moment, the program is in beta test, so of course it does not work perfectly, but this does not interfere with its use.
All you need is a wireless gamepad, fast Internet, and a more or less powerful computer. The advantage of just such a solution is that there is no need to lay many wires. Link is essentially a free alternative to a physical media player of the same name.
Copy mail or phone number to computer and open it on smartphone? Easy with the Alt-C
program, available on both Android and Windows, and even macOS. On the computer, any text is sent to the shared buffer using the keyboard shortcut Alt + C (hence the name), and Alt + V is inserted. On the mobile device, just copy the text and it will automatically appear in the shared buffer. Everything is clear and intuitive.
Definitely, screenshots from a smartphone can be viewed on a PC by synchronizing them through Google Photos. But what if you need the other way around? The popular cross-platform Lightshot
in handy here
. Just log in to your account on all devices, and your fresh screenshots will be instantly available on each of them. You can draw on the captured screenshots, as well as the ability to crop them.
I can not pass by this
powerful tool. It opens up great opportunities: instant file sharing between different devices, viewing all notifications on a PC, remotely controlling other Android devices and even making calls and sending SMS from your smartphone via a computer (just like on macOS). The service exists both in the form of a client and a web application.
There are many alternatives to the Safari browser, but I highlighted the 3 most I liked. Everyone has both advantages and disadvantages, so the choice is yours.
The most popular browser has recently been updated, and now its design in the direction of Material Design 2 looks very fresh and nice. But this is far from its only plus: Chrome synchronizes bookmarks and open tabs from different devices. True, this does not always work smoothly: in order for all open tabs to be available to you, you must turn off unloading of unused tabs, and this will just increase the load on RAM. But otherwise, synchronization is fast and convenient.
Many will probably be surprised to see this browser here. But in fact, it integrates perfectly with an Android smartphone. Thanks to the Continue on PC function, a user can instantly open a web page viewed from a mobile device on his computer. Tabs and bookmarks are also easily accessible on all your devices.
Personally, this web browser attracted me with a very fast synchronization, the availability of all current sites on any device, even if they were uploaded and the built-in ad blocker. The only thing that may not appeal to you is a little congestion with not very necessary functions compared to the same Chrome: animated backgrounds, Yandex.Zen feed. Fortunately, this is all turned off in the settings.
Of course, there are other browsers that support synchronization, such as Firefox, but this three most attracted attention with its interesting features and nice design.
DocumentsTwo software giants Microsoft and Google kindly provide their users with incredibly functional software for productive work. The former provide owners of Android devices with an excellent Office Mobile package, which includes full-fledged document management programs. Microsoft has released a convenient Outlook app for calendar and mail. Programs work great, coupled with a desktop "office".
If you don’t have the Office suite on your PC, or you just don’t like these services, then you should take a look at Google products. Docs, Tables, Slides and Calendar are presented as web applications, which means they do not even require installation. In addition, they are absolutely free, and they have considerable functionality. All these services have an autosave function in the cloud, which makes them analogues of the Continum function on iOS.
Your Phone on Windows 10This service was announced recently with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. So far, only features such as sending SMS messages and viewing photos have been announced. But soon there will be an opportunity to mirror applications from a smartphone running Android on a PC. Very pleased with the fact that Microsoft is slowly integrating into its system
Android integration tools.
Samsung gadget users are a little luckier than other device owners. Especially for them, the proprietary Flow
application is available, available on Google Play and the Windows Store. The advantages are a close connection of the tablet, smartphone and PC, in which the user can quickly exchange files and content between devices, synchronize notifications and use biometric data (fingerprint, iris) for authentication. If you have a Galaxy Gear / Watch, you can also use them for login (similar to the “Auto Unlock” function on iMac and MacBook).
SummaryThe ecosystem of Android OS is growing rapidly, and now can withstand solutions in iOS, macOS and WatchOS. Thanks to the applications from this collection, you will significantly increase the functionality of your devices and expand your capabilities.
And what useful services for integrating a smartphone with a computer do you know? Share them and impressions about the article in the comments.
Thank you for attention.