Dell's Mobile Connect Learns New Virtual Tricks
It seems like only yesterday that I was testing Dell Mobile Connect only to ultimately award it Best of CES 2018 for Best Software]. It looks like the company is trying for a repeat performance with the latest iteration of the app. The company has increased the app’s functionality, allowing you to run just about any app from your smartphone, it's also starting to dip its toes into the virtual reality space.
If you're unfamiliar with the app, you'll find it preloaded onto many Dell laptops and desktops. It's available for Android and iOS, Dell Mobile Connect facilitates seamless interaction between your laptop and smartphone in clever, useful ways including viewing your smartphone notifications on your laptop. You can also interact with smartphone apps. For instance, I called a Lyft on the Dell XPS 13. I even snagged an Eevee and a Magnamite in Pokemon Go. And yes Apple users, the app does play nice with your iPhones.
The app recently got an interface update that's got a clean, fresh look with large, easy to read text. But more important is the new functionality that lets you drag and drop files wirelessly between devices. During my demo, I swiped a few adorable pictures of puppies from the laptop to the test phone. The transfer was near instantaneous no matter what device I used.
Looking towards the future, Dell has a beta version on the app that works in virtual reality. Currently, outside of receiving notifications, you're cut off from the real world, including your phone in VR. During a demo, I watched the rep answer a call and get a Lyft -- without removing the HTC Vive Pro. Since you can't handle your physically handle your phone in VR, Mobile Connect created a representation of the device. The virtual phone was visually and functionally accurate facsimile of the rep's iPhone.
When another rep grabbed the phone to take a selfie, I saw the impending image in real time. The latency was minimum, meaning that I could watch myself wave at the same time. It's a good hint that Dell is betting on the future of VR.