You can do incredible things with your iPhone, but you could do so much more with an iPhone and a Mac. Pairing Apple’s excellent devices give you the power to call or text from your desktop, transfer files without annoying cables, and automatically sync credit card or login information. If you’re an iPhone user looking for a new computer, it’s time to skip the Windows machine and buy a Mac or MacBook.
Seamless Integration of Messages, Calls, and FaceTime
Why juggle a bunch of devices when you can do everything from your Mac? The macOS operating system offers native support for the Messages app (formerly iMessage), allowing you to text, call, and FaceTime without picking up your phone. You can even start typing a message on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac!
Texting and calling from your Mac can keep you from picking up your phone while working, and Messages integration is a godsend if you happen to lose or break your phone. Also, the option to click any phone number that you see in the browser to immediately begin a speakerphone call can save you the time of pulling out your phone and typing in a number manually.
Apple allows you to change your notification preferences for calls and texts if you don’t want to be distracted at the computer. You can also turn off Messages syncing altogether if that’s not your thing.
Effortless File Transfer With AirDrop and iCloud
Most iPhone users are familiar with AirDrop, the tool that lets you beam files, photos, or websites to nearby iPhones. But did you know that AirDrop works with the Mac too? You can send anything you want directly to your Mac without screwing around with annoying cables or apps.
Of course, anything backed up to iCloud is instantly available on your Mac. If you set your iPhone to automatically back up photos and documents to the cloud, then you can just open Finder (Mac’s version of File Explorer) and pick out the documents you want without using AirDrop. Naturally, this works both ways, so documents saved to the cloud from your Mac are available on your iPhone.
Alongside AirDrop and iCloud support, Macs also sport a tool call Continuity Camera that turns your iPhone into a camera or document scanner for desktop apps like Mail, Messages, Notes, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. If you’re working on a slideshow and need a photo of your dog, for example, you can shoot the picture on your iPhone and see it appear in the document on your Mac.
Automatically Sync Notes, Purchases, and More
iPhone and Mac integration goes beyond syncing text messages or iCloud files. Because your Mac and iPhone are both tied to your Apple ID, all of your Apple-based apps automatically sync across both devices. Your emails, notes, saved passwords and saved credit cards are always available no matter which device you use, saving you time and effort.
Purchases also sync between your Apple devices, so any eBooks, movies, or music bought on your iPhone are easily accessible on your Mac. And because the new M1 Macs can run iOS apps natively, you can play a game or use a professional app on your iPhone and move to the computer anytime without paying anything extra.
While pairing an iPhone with a Mac is by far the easiest way to sync messages, calls, files, login information, and credit card info across devices, it’s worth noting that a lot of this stuff is possible without a Mac. You can use a service like LastPass to sync login and credit card info between devices, Dropbox to share files through the cloud, and a third party messaging service to text from your computer. Heck, you could even ditch Apple entirely and pair a Windows computer with an Android phone.
Still, Apple’s ecosystem is easy and attractive. It works like a charm and doesn’t require extra software or subscriptions. And the experience only grows as you add more Apple devices to the mix—you can use an iPad as a wireless Mac display, for example, or use your Apple Watch to automatically log in to your Mac without typing a password or using a fingerprint reader.