Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic
If you need as constant an expertise as doable, select gadgets from a single vendor. For instance, in case you plan to make use of each a telephone and a laptop computer, both pair an iPhone with a MacBook Air (or MacBook Pro) within the Apple ecosystem or an Android telephone with a Chromebook within the Google ecosystem. Modern macOS laptops allow you to run many iPhone and iPad apps, and trendy Chromebooks allow you to run many Android apps. Sign-ins, settings and knowledge sync stay comparatively constant once you keep inside a single ecosystem.
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However, individuals usually pair gadgets from completely different distributors, comparable to an iPhone consumer who additionally makes use of a Chromebook. Purchase worth concerns may be vital: Apple affords a brand new MacBook Air beginning at $999 (or $899 within the schooling retailer), whereas a brand new Chromebook might price as little as $140, with many Chromebooks priced $399 or much less. The quick startup velocity and ease of administration have prompted many college techniques to decide on Chromebooks, as properly.
In my expertise, loads of individuals notice that Google’s apps work on a number of platforms (e.g., Android, Chrome OS, iPhone, iPad OS, macOS, Windows and Linux), as addressed within the first part under. Far fewer persons are conscious that a number of key Apple apps could also be used from a browser. These browser-based iCloud apps, together with a number of notable omissions, are lined within the second part under.
Google centric: How to make use of Google apps on a Chromebook and iPhone
The easiest way to make use of a Chromebook and iPhone collectively is to leverage Google accounts and apps, since they have a tendency to work easily on each gadgets.
On a Chromebook, in fact, all of the apps work within the browser as you anticipate. Sign in with a Google account after which entry Gmail, Google Meet, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Photos, in addition to almost each different Google service, together with Maps, YouTube and YouTubeTV (Figure A).
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. Nearly all the core Google apps that work on a Chromebook are additionally out there on iPhone. These embrace Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Google Meet, Google Voice, Google Photos, Chrome and extra.
On an iPhone (or iPad, for that matter), you may register together with your Google account inside Apple’s apps, comparable to Mail and Calendar. Or, merely set up the iOS apps that Google gives. Each of the apps listed within the prior paragraph is accessible from the iOS apps retailer, as proven in Figure A. Additionally, you’ll probably wish to set up Chrome and set it as your default browser. You might select to sync your browser historical past, bookmarks and passwords between Chrome on iOS and a Chromebook.
There are, nevertheless, a pair basic limitations to concentrate on once you use a Chromebook and iPhone with Google’s apps as your fundamental answer. First, not each Google service is accessible for each Chrome OS and iOS. For instance, when you might fill out a Google Form or view a Google Site on an iOS system, chances are you’ll solely create and edit Forms and Sites with the total Chrome browser, comparable to on Chrome OS, not on iOS. Second, Google usually makes options out there on the net first, with a subset of options supported inside Google cell apps. For instance, as of late April 2022, the power to autodetect Markdown works in Google Docs on Chrome OS, however not within the Google Docs app on iOS.
If you do select a Google-centric method for apps on an iPhone, I like to recommend you depend on Apple for a pair core providers. To mechanically save knowledge, apps and pictures to iCloud, allow iCloud backup in your iPhone. To guarantee you can remotely find, lock, ring or erase your iPhone if misplaced or stolen, allow Find My in your iPhone.
Apple centric: How to make use of Apple apps on an iPhone and Chromebook
Alternatively, chances are you’ll favor an Apple ID and Apple apps as your major set of software program and providers. Sign in to your iPhone and use Mail, Calendar, iCloud Drive, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Photos and Reminders, amongst different apps.
When you wish to use your Chromebook, you’ll nonetheless want a Google account to register to the system. Then, open Chrome and login in to iCloud.com together with your Apple ID and password. You may have your iPhone (or iPad) close by to approve entry. As you register, chances are you’ll choose choices each to maintain your Apple account signed in and to belief the pc—each of these choices assist reduce the variety of further prompts you’ll obtain to reauthenticate (Figure B).
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic. Access a number of Apple apps in iCloud on a Chromebook, in addition to on an iPhone. These embrace Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, iCloud Drive, Notes, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and Find iPhone.
Once signed in, chances are you’ll choose from any of the iCloud apps displayed (as proven in Figure B). As of late April 2022, these embrace Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, iCloud Drive, Notes, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, News Publisher and Find iPhone. (Note that News Publisher is for individuals who present content material to Apple News. Access to Apple News and News+ requires an Apple system.) Otherwise, chances are you’ll use every of those apps whereas signed in to iCloud within the Chrome browser: ship an e mail, handle your calendar and reminders, take notes, create, edit and collaborate on paperwork, spreadsheets and displays, or view, obtain or add recordsdata to iCloud Drive. (If you subscribe to Apple’s leisure apps, Apple Music and Apple TV+, additionally work on a Chromebook, though chances are you’ll have to register once more.)
As above, there’s one vital limitation to concentrate on once you use an iPhone and Chromebook with Apple’s apps as your fundamental answer: The lack of entry to vital Apple apps on a Chromebook. Apple’s messaging and assembly apps, iMessage and Facetime, aren’t out there on non-Apple platforms. Safari isn’t out there on Chrome OS, so if you need your browser historical past, bookmarks or passwords to sync, you’ll both want to make use of Chrome on an iPhone or use a third-party browser (e.g., Firefox) with an Android app that may be put in on a Chromebook. Apple Maps works solely on Apple gadgets, though you may go to DuckDuckGo.com on a Chromebook and seek for an handle, since DuckDuckGo outcomes depend on Apple Maps.
What’s your expertise?
If you utilize each a smartphone and laptop computer, what platforms do you favor for every? Do you stick to a single ecosystem (e.g., all in on Apple, Google) or a mixture (e.g., a telephone from Apple or Google, with a pc that runs Windows or Linux)? If you utilize an iPhone with a Chromebook, what mixture of providers and apps do you utilize on every system? Are there different core apps you discover both useful—or notably lacking—on one platform or the opposite? Let me know what your mono- or multi-ecosystem utilization expertise has been, both within the feedback under or on Twitter (@awolber).