Have you ever been viewing a website on your Mac and wanted to take it with you on your iPhone? Or have you looked up directions using Google Maps on your Mac and wanted to send them to the Google Maps app on your iPhone? Or have you selected some text on your iPhone that you’d like to edit on your iPad? Or perhaps you’ve taken a photo using your iPhone that you’d like to quickly send to your Mac. If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations, then an app called DeskConnect is here to help.
What is it? – DeskConnect describes itself as “the missing link between your devices,” and it definitely comes through on that promise. Using DeskConnect you can send nearly any type of content that you can think of between Mac OS X and iOS devices: websites, photos, documents, clipboard text, map directions, and more.
How does it work? – DeskConnect consists of separate apps for Mac OS X and iOS, both available for free on their respective app stores. The apps act as a gateway for your devices, allowing you to send content between them.
The Mac app loads upon login and lives as an icon in your Mac’s menu bar. Clicking the icon presents a drop-down menu with different options of what content to send and which device to send it to. The first item in this list is always the content from your active window. If your active window is a webpage in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc, DeskConnect offers to send the URL. If it’s a photo open in Preview, the app offers to send the photo. It it’s a document in Pages… you get the idea. Secondly, DeskConnect offers to send text you’ve copied to your clipboard, providing a very useful portal for quickly sending text between your devices. The DeskConnect menu also provides you with a list of recently received files and access to preference items. In the app’s preferences you can establish a hotkey, or keyboard shortcut, to quickly send the content of your active window to all your other devices.
The DeskConnect iOS app is very similar. Upon launch, the app displays options for sending different types of content: photos, clipboard text, websites, and documents. It also displays files sent in the last 30 days for easy access. Tapping on the options button gives you access to your account details allows you to select which maps application you’d like to open received directions in (Apple Maps, Google Maps, etc.). DeskConnect for iOS has integrated push notifications so that the app doesn’t need to be active or even opened to receive incoming files.
The Verdict – DeskConnect’s major strength is its simplicity. Due to its presence in the Mac menu bar in OS X and the integration of push notifications into its iOS app, DeskConnect allows you to send nearly any type of content without getting in the way or becoming cumbersome. That said, DeskConnect still isn’t as fluid or seamless as if it were baked into the Mac OS X or iOS operating systems themselves. Some of the functionality of DeskConnect is more elegantly available through Apple’s own proprietary services like AirDrop, iCloud, photo streams, and so on. DeskConnect does what it says it will do, however, and does it very very well. It’s simple to set up and use and it offers an easy way to move content between your Mac and iOS devices.
DeskConnect is available on both the Mac and iOS app stores for free. For more info, check out the DeskConnect website here. Give it a try and see if it can help you share content between your devices!