I’ll be honest, Dell wasn’t at the top of our list of must-visit companies at this year’s CES, but the PC stalwart is actually showcasing a couple of interesting new products at the show. On the software front, mobile connect is a free offering that will be bundled with all new Dell computers.
The application delivers mobile notifications to the desktop via Bluetooth. It’s a bit like some of the functionality offered up by Cortana on Windows or Notification Center on macOS, only it doesn’t require you to sign into each individual account on the desktop. The apps themselves don’t need to be approved by Dell, either. As long as you can get a notification on your phone, you’ll see it on the screen.
The only things it does require, in fact, are a new Dell computer and a smartphone within Bluetooth range. The company gave us a demo of the app at our booth, and the system performs as advertised, popping up a small notification box in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. (Disclosure: The shipping version works with Bluetooth, but this demo was hardwired, due to the crazy wireless pollution at a show like CES.)
From there, you can respond in a dialog box or click through to a mirrored image of your phone’s screen. That’s a fun little added bonus — if you have a touchscreen, you can actually navigate the handset straight from the desktop, making it possible to play mobile games on the bigger screen.
The Dell rep ran us through a bunch of different scenarios, like getting a call, fielding an Instagram notification and ordering an Uber. Notably, Dell says the application will work with both Android and iOS, by way of a mobile app.
The functionality is set to arrive on January 27.