Episode 69: Technology Bytes. . .iPhone Mirroring

This is Technology Bytes, episode 69 for June 30th, 2024.

Technology Bytes is a microcast where I share brief bytes on interesting technology.

My name is Joel.


And here we go.

Last week, I talked about my experience with the new developer beta of Sequoia.

And I’m going to continue that a little bit, except I’m just going to talk about one specific thing.

So this week, I want to talk about iPhone mirroring.

So the second developer beta came out.

And even though I know I told you about all my woes and troubles with the first one, I thought maybe installing the second one would solve some of my problems.

And while it did solve some of them, some remain and I can’t quite figure out how to work my way around them.

But the second one also brought iPhone mirroring.

And if you remember this, if you watched the keynote, basically what iPhone mirroring is, is it shows your iPhone on the computer screen.

Now, it doesn’t work on an iPad.

And so it only works on a Mac of some variety.

I have a MacBook Air.

I have an iMac.

It works on both of those.

And so if your phone is locked and not, well, it can be near the computer, but let’s say it’s not, but you can actually access your phone from your computer screen.

And the question is, how does that work?

And, well, I’m not the person to tell you because I don’t really know.

Not that I don’t really know.

I don’t know at all, but I know that it does.

And so when it showed up, I was pretty interested in using it just to see what it worked like.

And basically it is your phone on your screen and you can choose how you want to authenticate.

I choose to authenticate with my fingerprint because both my keyboards have that ability.

My keyboard on my MacBook Air and my iMac.

And you can just have it authenticate automatically, kind of like your Mac unlocks with your Apple Watch.

So it’s still secure, but that’s the system that I chose.

Another question is, why would anyone want that function?

And, you know, to tell you the truth, well, I’m always trying to tell you the truth.

So from my perspective, I wasn’t exactly sure why I would want that functionality at all.

I wasn’t exactly sure why it would work or how it would work in my environment and how I use my phone and my computers, those kind of things.

But I found that it is really cool and I use it quite often.

So a couple of things that it does that make it useful is, one, it allows your iPhone notifications to show up right on your computer screen.

So a brief example, so I use WaterMinder as an app to track my liquid intake.

And I have it prompt me every hour and a half to drink eight ounces of water, basically.

So when I am sitting at my desk and my phone is in my pocket and that time frame rolls around 8, 9.30, 11, 12.30, so on and so forth.

The prompt for the WaterMinder just shows up right on my computer screen.

I can click on the options, I can click add eight ounces and then it pops up my phone.

I can hit authentication through the fingerprint and then it just adds that water to the app on the iPhone, that water intake.

I don’t think WaterMinder has an app for the iPad or for the computer.

If it does, I don’t use it anyway because the phone reminds me.

But it allows me to do that without ever taking my phone out of my pocket.

And then when I take my phone out of my pocket and I unlock it, the computer stops controlling it.

It gives you a notification that says your iPhone is not locked and it basically gives control back to the user through your finger like your normal use.

And that happens constantly depending on how you have your notifications set up.

But the other cool thing is there are a few apps that I use on occasion on my phone that don’t exist anywhere else.

And if I want access to those to look something up, to log into an app that’s only on my phone, I don’t have to pull my phone out of my pocket and use it from that environment.

I can actually just pull the phone up on my screen.

I can open the app and then talk to it, type on it, run it as if I was touching my phone screen.

And it is really neat and it works really, really well.

It’s very smooth.

It’s very quick.

I had one hiccup.

I don’t really know exactly how it happened or why, but I was using the phone and then when I went back on the computer, so I’m using iPhone mirroring.

And then when I went back to my actual phone use, I was still in the office and so it wouldn’t let go.

And my phone got confused, the computer got confused, and it took a few seconds for it to renegotiate that handshake or undo the handshake as it were.

But of all the times that I’ve used it, so it’s been pretty much a solid week.

Beta 2 came out on Monday morning.

So all last week using it from my office and it has worked flawlessly.

I showed a couple people who are iPhone people at work and they’re like, yeah, it’s pretty cool.

But you kind of tell from their stance and from their reaction that they’re like, why would anyone want to do that?

But it’s just another thing.

It’s kind of like the Apple Watch where now I can interact with my phone through my Apple Watch without having to pull it out of my pocket.

And now I can do the same thing with my computer.

And so my phone stays more in my pocket and I’m not looking at the screen as much, even though I am using it just as much.

I don’t know.

I just think it’s a neat function.

It adds some really cool functionality.

I think it’s useful in a moment because you’re not fumbling around trying to get your phone out of your pocket or if your phone’s in your backpack or maybe it’s across the room on the table and you’re using your laptop on the easy chair or on the couch.

So I think there are uses for it.

It’ll be interesting to see as time goes, if it falls by the wayside and I really stop using it or if I continue to use it.

I think I’m going to continue to use it because of the notifications.

It’s going to pop up and say, hey, you need to record this or you usually record this at this time or you need to do this on your phone at this time.

Just a few things that I have to remind myself either drinking and drinking water was just one of those examples.

And so I think because of that notification system, I will be using iPhone mirroring for as long as it’s available.

So it’s just something cool in the beta.

Again, I would not install the betas on anything that you need to use on a regular basis.

I already told you my woes on that.

I do enjoy what’s there, but I also know that there’s just trouble waiting potentially around every corner.

So if you have any comments or suggestions, any questions about iPhone mirroring, you can reach out to me at technologybytesatmirroredfamily.com.

But for now, that’s all I have for today.

I want to thank you again for listening to the Technology Bytes microcast, and I look forward to the next time we are together taking another bite of technology.

Joel Mearig @technologybytes