The ability to sync and pair your smartphone with a Windows PC is a useful one. The goal of integrating the two is to allow your computer to perform some of the functions and display some of the content of your phone when the latter is not within reach.
Microsoft’s Phone Link app for Windows 11 allows you to use your computer to make and take calls, read and respond to text messages, view photos taken with your phone, and receive notifications from your phone. Certain smartphones even allow you to use Android software on a computer.
However, in addition to Microsoft’s Phone Link app, there is now an Intel-made alternative. The Intel Unison app bridges the gap between your Android phone and Windows 11, allowing you to do everything from view photos and send texts to making phone calls and transferring files. Unison requires Windows 11, so a computer running Windows 10 will be unable to use it. In addition, you’ll need the late-2022-released Windows 11 22H2 edition on your machine.
Microsoft’s Phone Link: How to Use It
Microsoft’s Phone Link for Android generally functions the same way in Windows 10 and 11, with a few exceptions. In 2021, Ed Bott explained the steps required for Windows 10. Let’s see how the newest and greatest version of Windows 11 performs in 2023.
First, ensure the Phone Link app is set up on your device.
In the past, I’ve found that the initial linking setup to be clumsy and time-consuming. The original name of the app was “Your Phone.” However, Microsoft has since improved the app so that pairing with Phone Link is simpler.
The Phone Link app for Windows 11 should already be installed on your computer if you have been keeping up with the latest updates. To verify, head to the device’s Menu > Settings > Apps > Installed. Just look for “Phone Link” toward the bottom of the menu. If it isn’t already installed, go to the Microsoft Store and get it.
In addition: the Windows 11 uninstall procedure
Select Bluetooth & other devices under the Settings menu. To connect your Android device, first select Open Phone Link.
Let’s take a look at everything you can do on your computer when you connect your phone to it.
Use your computer to send and receive text messages.
To view your most recent text messages, select the Messages tab at the top. To read a text, just click on it. You can add an emoji, GIF, or image to your response by typing it in at the bottom of the page.
Live captioning in Windows 11: instructions
Select the New Message button to start typing a fresh message. Enter the contact details of the person you wish to text. The next step is to write and send your message.
Use your computer to make or take a call.
Select Calls, then tap the button labeled Begin using this feature. Bluetooth on your phone may need to be activated. If so, proceed with granting access and confirming the PIN to complete the pairing. To have your most recent phone calls show up in the Phone Link app on your computer, you’ll need to grant permission by clicking the Send button.
To redial a recent call, just click the phone icon after selecting the number. New calls can be made by either keying in a number or selecting a contact from the Contacts list.
Not to mention, the top-tier Microsoft Surface PCs have completely numbed me to the existence of Apple.
Both your Android phone and the Phone Link app on your computer will notify you of incoming calls, allowing you to pick up the phone wherever you happen to be. The program only needs to be installed once and will run in the background without your having to do anything, including keeping it open.
View your pictures
To view images, select the Photos tab. Your most recent Android phone pictures should appear here. Then try refreshing the page. A photo can be opened in the Photos app, copied, saved, shared, or deleted with a single click.
Execute a program
You can run an Android app from your phone on your PC, but only with certain phones. Among the different Android phones I checked, only relatively recent Samsung Galaxy phones seemed to support this option. A Galaxy S8 didn’t qualify, but the Galaxy S10e did. Microsoft’s Surface Duo also supports this capability.
Just click the app you want to access, and it will pop up on your PC. You can also access the home screen on your phone to navigate to it from your PC.
Next, you can check your phone’s notifications on your PC. Click the Notifications icon on the left vertical toolbar. The first time you do this, you’ll need to grant permissions via your phone. Your notifications then appear on the left sidebar.
Finally, you can manage your linked phone in the Phone Link app. Click the Gear icon in the upper right. At the Settings screen, you can tweak different options for the various categories, enable copying and pasting between your phone and PC, and add or remove a linked phone.
How to pair your Android phone with Windows 11 using Intel Unison
Intel states that Unison works only on Evo-powered laptops running on the company’s 13th Gen processors. The Evo designation means that the PC has passed strict requirements from Intel, and such machines should have a label that identifies it as meeting these specifications. However, many people have reported that they’ve been able to install Unison on older, non-Evo computers. I got it working on an Intel 8th-Gen non-Evo laptop, so you may want to try this on your PC even if it’s an older model.
First, download and install the Intel Unison app from the Microsoft Store. Open the app and click the Accept & Continue button. Decide if you want to share crash data and statistics with Intel. You’re then asked to pair your phone and PC. Scan the QR code with your phone and then tap the link to download and install the Unison mobile app from Google Play.
Open the app on your phone. Give it permission to access your contacts, photos and videos, and SMS messages. Tap the button for Scan QR code and scan the code displayed in the Windows app.
Verify the connection by confirming that the code displayed is the same on both your PC and mobile device and then click Confirm on your PC.
Tap the Get Started button. The Intel Unison app on your PC displays icons for transferring files, managing photos, sending messages, syncing notifications, and making calls.
Transfer files from PC to phone
You can transfer files from your computer to your phone. As an example, perhaps you have photos on your PC that you want to copy to your phone to use as wallpaper. In the Windows Intel Unison app, tap the File Transfer icon. Then click the Add Files icon in the PC app.
Upload or drag and drop files from your PC that you want to transfer to your phone. On your PC, the Unison app shows the names of the files that have been transferred.
The transferred files accessible from the Received screen in the mobile app. Tap a photo in the mobile app to open, copy, or remove it.
Transfer files from phone to PC
To transfer files from your phone to your computer, select the Transfer Files option and then tap the heading for Sent. Tap the arrow icon at the bottom of the screen. Using the menu, you can transfer files taken with your camera or files already on your device. Tap the Camera option to snap a new photo and then tap the checkmark to OK the picture.
Tap the Files button to choose an existing photo or other file from your phone. Select the files you want to copy. Any files you transfer appear in the Sent section of the mobile app, while the PC app indicates that the files have been successfully transferred.
View photos from your phone
To view the photos on your phone, click the Gallery icon in the sidebar in the Unison app in Windows. You can view your phone’s gallery by photos, videos, or specific albums.
Click the Download icon at the top to download them to your PC, where you can access them from the Downloads folder. Choose Save As to download them to a location of your choice. Click a specific image to open, download, save, or delete it from your phone.
Send and receive text messages
You can send and receive text messages from your phone using the Unison app on your computer. Click the Messages icon on the sidebar. Click the Compose a new message icon to start a new conversation or select an existing conversation. Type your message and click the Send icon when finished.
When you receive a text, a notification appears in Windows. You can dimiss the notification or enter and send a reply directly in that notification.
Make and receive phone calls
To make and receive calls on your computer, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth and pair your phone to access your contacts if you haven’t already done so. Follow the on-screen steps to do this. You should then see your contacts appear in the Calls screen on the Unison app on your PC.
Select the person you wish to call from your contact list or enter the number on the keypad. After the call has connected, click the down arrow next to the red icon. From there, you can mute the call, display the keypad, switch the call to your mobile phone, and end the call.
To receive a call, make sure the Unison app is running on your PC, either on the screen or in the Windows System Tray. When a call comes in, a notification appears on the screen. Click the Receive call button to answer.
To view notifications from your phone on your PC, click the Notifications icon in the sidebar. Scroll down to view all the latest notifications. Click the ellipsis icon and you can collapse or delete the notifications.
To tweak certain options, click the Settings icon on the sidebar. Go through the three categories: General, Notifications, and Messages & Calls to review the existing settings and make any necessary changes.
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