Apple's Continuity feature is designed to enhance the user experience by seamlessly integrating various Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. To combat Apple, a number of companies introduced continuity features on Android and Windows devices. The biggest competition against Apple comes from Microsoft, Samsung, and Google; and they introduced continuity features that can interoperate between Android and Windows. A continuity amongst various devices is still an evolving technology, and we expect to see some leaps in the upcoming years in both Apple and Windows/Android ecosystems.
Microsoft offers a number of Windows apps to allow users to manage their mobile devices including Android, iOS, PCs, and even MACs.
1. Your Phone app
This feature allows Windows users to connect their Android devices to their PCs, enabling synchronization of notifications, text messages, and photos. Your Phone app currently works with Windows 10 and 11, and future versions of Windows will support it. The app comes with Windows 10 and beyond, and you may also download it from Microsoft Store. To use this feature, you must install the app on Windows and Android, and have Bluetooth turned on in both devices.
2. Phone Link
With the Phone Link app on your Windows, you can use your mobile device from your PC. You can make or receive phone calls, keep up with messages, and view mobile notifications on your PC. With the Phone Link app, you can access the Android apps installed on your mobile phone on your PC. The Phone Link app on Windows 11 is now available on both Android and iOS devices.
3. Find my device
Similar to Android's "Find my Devices", Microsoft offers its own version of Find my Devices to let Windows users find their mobile devices. You can use your Microsoft account to manage your devices including Xbox Windows PC, Android Devices, iOS Devices, and macOS devices by registering with Microsoft.
Samsung is one of the world's largest manufacturers of smartphones and has gained a considerable market share globally, and the vast majority of its mobile devices run Android mobile operating systems. Samsung introduced a number of continuity apps within the Android and Samsung marketplace and competes with Apple in smartphone and PC markets.
1. Call & Message Continuity
Samsung's Call & Message Continuity feature allows you to sync your calls and messages across your Samsung devices. No matter what device you're using, you have access to text and calls across your Samsung devices no matter how far your phone is located. This feature is only available to supported Samsung devices, and not all devices support it.
2. Samsung Flow
Samsung's Flow feature provides a similar experience to Continuity by allowing users to seamlessly transition between Samsung smartphones, tablets, and PCs. It offers features such as instant tethering, file sharing, and synchronization of notifications.
Android is an open-source operating system primarily designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It was developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies. Android provides a platform for developers to create applications and services that can run on a wide range of mobile devices.
1. Link to Windows
Link to Windows is an Android app that takes everything that you can do on your smartphone to your PC. Using the Your Phone app from Microsoft, you can send texts, see recent photos, triage notifications, and use any of your favorite mobile apps - all without ever having to use your phone.
2. Continuity Service
Continuity Service is a Samsung app that will allow you to start working on one Samsung Galaxy device and continue the same work on a different Samsung Galaxy device. This can be very useful if you switch tasks between your phont and tablet. The only apps that support the continuity feature are Samsung Internet (browser) and Samsung Note, so the feature is very limited as compared to Apple's Continuity feature set.
Other Third-party Apps
Aside from the consortium of Microsoft, Google, and Samsung, there are other third-party companies working toward integrating Android and Windows operating systems to allow users to work between smartphones and PCs. Some of the third-party apps are available for free, while others are offered as premium apps.
Pushbullet is a cross-platform service that enables users to connect their devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. It allows for file sharing, notification mirroring, and sending messages from one device to another.
2. KDE Connect
KDE Connect is a Linux-based solution that allows users to integrate their Android devices with the KDE desktop environment. It provides features like file sharing, notification syncing, and controlling media playback along with phone notifications.
3. Dell Mobile Connect
Dell Mobile Connect is a software solution that enables integration between Dell PCs and Android or iOS devices. It allows users to make calls, send texts, and mirror notifications from their smartphones on their Dell computers.
These are just a few examples of the competition and alternatives to Apple's Continuity feature. Each solution has its own unique features and limitations, so it's worthwhile exploring them based on your specific needs and preferences.
To combat Apple's Continuity offering, a community of third-party vendors work together to build continuity features between Windows and Android devices. The continuity features are very limited at the moment, but being able to sync your phone with your Windows PC, and being able to make or take calls, and send and receive messages on your Windows PC without your phone present is very useful at times.
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