One way that Apple keeps people in the ecosystem is through the iMessage platform. It gives people the opportunity to get messages on any of their Apple devices – regardless of where they are. And I mean, it’s kind of a great idea. If you want to use iMessage, then you’re obviously using an Apple product. This is definitely a way to win consumers if you’re Apple. But there are also benefits as well – including rich content support and full encryption. But, if you’re sending a message to someone who doesn’t have an Apple device, then these things mean nothing. This might change, though, as Apple is willing to work out some deals.
Microsoft first acknowledged, at Build last year, that its new mobile strategy is to make iOS and Android devices work better with Windows 10 PCs. While the Windows-related news at this year’s Build developer conference has been light, Microsoft has revealed it’s working on a new “Your Phone” app that further bridges the gap between PCs and phones. The app will bring text messages, notifications, and photos from a phone directly to a Windows 10 PC, and it’s designed to make it easier to transition between the two.
Microsoft’s new Your Phone app isn’t ready for Windows 10 users to even try fully yet, as the company is still building the app, but it’s clear this will be the central way to connect phones to PCs. While Microsoft has used Cortana for linking SMS and notifications to PCs in the past, this new app will be the primary way phones connect to Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft has shown off messages, notifications, and photo sharing at the moment, but not all of these features will necessarily work on both iOS and Android.
But unfortunately, the things that can mirror between iOS and Windows are actually limited. There will be notification support, and Windows users will be able to look at photos, but the app can’t mirror as much as it could from an Android phone. That isn’t going to stop Microsoft from trying to work with Apple though. The vision, though, is for full iMessage support on Windows. The way to do that is with the Your Phone app, but it’s not an easy process. But Microsoft’s goal is to have respect for Apple’s ecosystem, which means they will need to work directly with Apple to come up with a strategy and methodology to achieve that.
I like this whole idea, but I’m not completely convinced of it. Is this something that Apple should be doing in the first place? I am not trying to sound elitist, but part of the draw for me is that I can get everything I want and need using my Apple devices. While this is making the technology more accessible for everyone, I think it will devalue Apple products – and not in a monetary way. Yes, this does make me sound elitist, but again, I think Apple has gone to great lengths to make all of their software work on their devices. So, I will ask again – is this a good idea in the first place?