iPhonaddict

iPhonaddict Reviews: myPhoneDesktop

1.jpg

The idea behind myPhoneDesktop is to allow a desktop computer to easily communicate with iOS devices. Inputting information, making calls, moving files, would be done on the PC and sent to the device rather than messing around with the device itself. What this app tries to do, it does well. But overall, it is far more of a hassle than just working on device. Despite the interesting ideas behind it, the features that best represent myPhoneDesktop are better represented in its competition. In concept, this would be fantastic. I love optimizing my work flow and linking the technology I keep in my workspace but the restrictions of cross-app communication on iOS make it very difficult for myPhoneDesktop to present a smooth or effective work experience.  

When the app is first launched it will prompt you to create an account and install the desktop counterpart. After setting it up, you will be shown a blank screen with the standard iOS tabbed layout reading "phone, URL, text, file, settings". Other than that, there is very little indication of how you are supposed to use the application. On the desktop side, a small window (about the size of the iPhone 4 screen) prompts you with a keypad and input field. From there, you can type up texts, emails, or whatever text based input you like. After clicking send your iOS device will receive a notification from the app. Tapping the notification will throw you into the app and provide you with the text. This is where things get sticky. If you inputted plain text, then you'll get plain text out. The only way to use that text is to copy and paste it from myPhoneDesktop to whatever app you'd like to use it in. This is not a way of using iMessage on a PC because you'll still need to tap send and you won't be able to read incoming messages without looking at your device. If you pre-selected text message, email, or URL on the desktop version, it may bounce you to Safari or a message screen but I find it difficult to think of a use case where I would be on my PC with my phone within arms reach and not just type my emails on my desktop.

Moving files between devices is much easier with Bump, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote. Inputting text is much easier on device or with a multi-channel keyboard such as the K810 I reviewed earlier. Quickly dialing or texting contacts is easier with URL scheme apps like Launch Center Pro (one of my favorites).

I can really see what this app was trying to do and perhaps as a jailbreak tweak it would have been more successful. But at the moment, it is simply not applicable in my workflow. Unless iOS 7 brings some serious changes to how apps can communicate, I can't really see a place for myPhoneDesktop or other similar apps. There was a point in the early App Store when devices were not powerful enough and few services had taken root. At that point in time, I could see this app being a useful way to communicate between desktop and iOS. But today, with the apps we have now, it feels far too obtuse and limited to have a viable place on my devices.

Written by Samuel Strickland