Skip to main content

Intel Unison is yet another attempt to make PCs and phones work together

Alongside today’s Raptor Lake launch event, Intel is also announcing its new Intel Unison software, which promises to better unite your PC, phone, and other devices seamlessly.

Intel Unison isn’t just a way to get an advantage over AMD, either; it’s also a major attempt toward bridging the gap between Windows PCs and what Apple is doing on Macs.

Phones and PCs finally united

Intel Unison feature list.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are apps on for Windows PCs that try to connect your computer to your phone. Your Phone, a first-party app, allows users to text and call from their PC, but that’s about it — and it’s not a particularly amazing texting-on-your-PC app anyways. Meanwhile, companies like Dell have proprietary solutions, which confuse things even further — and often have limitations with iPhones.

Intel Unison is a far more ambitious piece of software than Your Phone and promises to include many features that rival what’s available on Apple hardware, including:

  • Text messaging and phone calls from your PC
  • File transfers between your PC and phone (Android and iOS both supported)
  • Remote mouse, keyboard, and touchscreen control from your phone or tablet

Regarding those first two points, Intel PCs that support Intel Unison might be on par with Apple hardware for the first time ever. In fact, Intel Unison will have one key advantage Apple devices don’t have: remote control. There are third-party apps Apple users can use to control a MacBook with an iPhone, but it’s not a feature supported directly by Apple.

Intel Unison’s remote control feature sounds promising since it has the backing of a multibillion dollar company that is one of Microsoft’s biggest partners.

The disappointing part about Intel Unison is the support. It will only be available for “select Intel Evo” PCs that use 12th-gen CPUs. It’s not something just anyone can install and use on any computer. Intel does promise it will be available on more Intel Evo machines that use upcoming 13th Gen CPUs, but that still leaves older machines out of the loop. It’s easy to understand why Intel wouldn’t want its software being run on AMD machines, but it’s unfortunate that it won’t be supported on all Intel machines.

As for software, only PCs running Windows 11 with the 22H2 update will be supported, which provides further limitations for compatibility. As for phones, you’ll either need to update to iOS 15 if you have an iPhone or Android 9 if you have an Android phone. Luckily, iOS 15 has pretty broad support and Android 9 came out four years ago, so it’s unlikely you’ll have any software incompatibility problems, which is a saving grace for Intel Unison.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Connatser
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matthew Connatser is a freelance writer who works on writing and updating PC guides at Digital Trends. He first got into PCs…
Apple’s 32-inch M3 iMac could be facing yet another delay
Man using a 24-inch M1 iMac.

If you’ve been holding out for an iMac loaded up with a new M3 chip, there’s bad news: it might be delayed until next year. It means an even longer wait for anyone who wants an all-in-one Apple computer with an upgraded chip -- right now, the M1 chip in the current 24-inch iMac is over two years old.

The news on the iMac postponement comes from the Power On newsletter published by journalist Mark Gurman, who has released accurate information about Apple’s upcoming products many times in the past.

Read more
How macOS Sonoma could fix widgets — or make them even worse
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air on a desk, with macOS Sonoma running on its display.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this year, Apple revealed that interactive widgets would be coming to macOS Sonoma. That probably sounds like a tiny new feature, and sure, it’s not as earth-shattering as the Vision Pro announcement. But it could turn out to be one of the most divisive new features in the Mac operating system.

In macOS Sonoma, you’ll be able to plant widgets on your desktop instead of hiding them in the Notification Center. Many widgets will be interactive, letting you tick off to-do list items without opening the widget’s app, for example. And you’ll be able to run iOS widgets right on your desktop, even if that app isn’t installed on your Mac. It’s a pretty comprehensive overhaul. Depending on how well these interactive widgets work, though, we could be left with a bunch of annoying distractions or a set of super-helpful timesavers. The way Apple handles them is going to be vital.
We've been here before

Read more
Intel chips held back the 15-inch MacBook Air, Apple says
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air is a surprisingly good laptop, and its positive reception might make you wonder why Apple didn’t launch it sooner. Well, we just got the answer from Apple itself, and it turns out the fault apparently lies with Intel.

That interesting tidbit was revealed by Laura Metz, Director of Product Marketing at Apple, and Thomas Tan from Apple’s enterprise product marketing team. Speaking to Inc, the pair explained that Apple silicon was the driving force in creating the 15-inch MacBook Air.

Read more