What sexy dance will an iPhone and Macbook do together?
September 14, 2012 10:00 AM   Subscribe

What magic can an iPhone and a Macbook work together?

I'm at the end of my contract and deciding between an iPhone 4s and another Android device (currently have a Galaxy Captivate). It's also possible that I'll be getting a Macbook in the next few months (for ease of use in podcasting and broadcasting, if that matters). I know I'll be able to do the obvious stuff with an iPhone and Macbook, like sync iTunes and photos, but are there any other great things the two will do together? Is there an especially compelling reason to get an iPhone, instead of another phone, if you have a Mac?
posted by Roman Graves to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
With iCloud, you can also sync contacts, calendars, mail, notes, bookmarks, safari tabs, and documents (sort of?).
posted by jcrbuzz at 10:13 AM on September 14, 2012

Not specific to the Macbook, but AirVideo is pretty awesome. It lets you stream most videos you have on your computer to your iPhone, so instant movie library without having to fill your phone's memory.

The Remote app lets you control iTunes on your Mac from your iPhone.
posted by Mercaptan at 10:19 AM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am currently working with a Macbook and an Android, and I will (most very likely) be switching to an iPhone in the near future, mainly because a lot of (not all, of course) the Android devices are just not that great quality. I just went through a hellish month during which Verizon sent me 5 phones (of HTC Incredible 2s and Motorola Droid X2s, which are both supposedly among the best) and I'm back on an Incredible 2 and just dealing with the bugginess.

As far as my Android's compatibility with my Macbook... I think the only thing that I can't do that I want to is have a Notes app that I can use from both platforms. I've had little software incompatibilities, like the phone restarting when I plugged in into the laptop to charge, but nothing that I would feel was a deciding factor in iPhone vs. Android.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:25 AM on September 14, 2012

The MacOS and the iOS sync virtually everything, seamlessly. As jcrbuzz points out: contacts, calendars, reminders, mail, Safari bookmarks.

iPhone-toting friends of mine who have tried to use Android were quite unhappy with the results.
posted by musofire at 10:25 AM on September 14, 2012

Is there an especially compelling reason to get an iPhone, instead of another phone, if you have a Mac?

They're made by the same company and are literally designed to work together. Using another phone with a Mac is possible, but I can't think of a especially compelling reason to do so.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on September 14, 2012

Is there an especially compelling reason to get an iPhone, instead of another phone, if you have a Mac?

I would put it this way: If you have a Mac, you need to have an especially compelling reason to get anything except an iPhone.
posted by The Deej at 10:49 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

When people describe apple products as "just working", this is what they're talking about.
posted by Oktober at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2012

The one downside is the fairly crappy bluetooth implementation Apple puts into the iPhone. With older phones, I've been able to send and receive text messages through the phone by using my computer -- a real upside compared to typing on the screen. Apple cripples bluetooth in the iPhone though, so I can no longer do that. Under Mountain Lion I can send messages to other iMessage users, but have no access to SMS functionality through the computer.

So that, weirdly, is an example of how two Apple products in fact work together in a worse fashion than an Apple and a non-Apple product.

That's the only example I can think of, however. Everything else has been very smooth.
posted by modernnomad at 11:02 AM on September 14, 2012

Oh, and syncing podcasts over the air between iTunes and the phone is still very poor. I have to rely on a 3rd party podcast app, but that cannot sync to my desktop.
posted by modernnomad at 11:03 AM on September 14, 2012

To expand on the upthread mentions of Safari tabs, once the new iOS phone software becomes available next week, tabs that you have open in the Safari browser on your Macbook will be accessible on your iPhone using its Safari browser.

iMessages work on both the Macbook and the iPhone simultaneously. This means if you start chatting with someone via iMessage on your Mac then grab your phone and run out the door, you can pick up the conversation right where you left off.

I have a Macbook and a 4S and I will never, ever go back to any other device combination. To say everything "just works" is the understatement of the century. Thanks in particular to iCloud, my phone has become a near-perfectly synced mini Macbook in my pocket, and it's freaking wonderful.
posted by _Mona_ at 11:21 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love the "remote" iPhone app. Complete control over iTunes from your phone -- playlist, play/pause, volume/etc. I run the audio from my Mac into some nice speakers, and then I can use my phone to control the music anywhere in my apartment.
posted by TurkishGolds at 11:22 AM on September 14, 2012

The "remote" app also controls Apple TV .... I use it all of the time to watch movies, listen to podcasts, or even scroll through my pictures on my TV set. I can be upstairs and start a movie for my kids downstairs ... I can take my phone with me and tell how much time is left on the movie, etc. Apple products do work beautifully together.
posted by Ostara at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2012

iPhone-toting friends of mine who have tried to use Android were quite unhappy with the results.

This makes no sense to me.

I'm with odinsdream. I have several Macs, which I use daily, an iPad, which I rarely touch, and an Android phone and an Android tablet, both of which I use daily.

I used to have an iPhone and I hated it (I had a 3 and a 3gs). I consider switching to Android to be an upgrade. However, I rarely use iTunes for anything at all and, far as I know, it's the only thing on my Macs that doesn't sync with my phone (though a third party app could solve this, I have no interest in doing so as I don't listen to music on my phone--just podcasts and audiobooks).

Currently, my Macs sync the following with my Android, though this is all thanks to Google:

- email
- contacts
- calendar
- maps*
- google searches*
- bookmarks (Chrome is my default browser; Safari blows)

I could be wrong about the current state of the iPhone but when I used them the * things did not sync. I find the search and map syncing pretty vital. I also like the functions of Google Now, which iPhone probably won't have for another year, if ever. (I saw nothing in the recent Apple keynote about the new iPhone that my phone couldn't already do.)

I didn't read the entire thread but I scanned it and didn't see anything that my Android phone can't do. For instance, the Remote for iTunes app controls my iTunes and sends the content to my stereo.
posted by dobbs at 7:36 PM on September 15, 2012

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