Category Archives: PC/phone travel gear

Phone Link Pairs Up iPhone Build 25330

I’m jazzed! Here’s what Phone Link pairs up iPhone build 25330 means “Starting with the latest Canary Build, my iPhone and Phone Link are now working together.” I’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time. The lead-in graphics shows the “pairing success” message on my Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Hybrid tablet.

What Phone Link Pairs Up iPhone Build 25330 Brings In

On my PC, I can now see the messages in my iPhone message store. I can also access my contact list to place or receive calls via that device. Pretty neat. The set-up process was dead easy. There were messages on both PC and iPhone about what to do. They steered me through the pairing and synching processes.

I’ve been envious of Android users for years, because Phone Link has supported those devices from Day 1. When MS announced iPhone support was coming back on March 2, but in phased form, I quickly realized my PCs weren’t included. I’ve been waiting at least since Build 25314 (I had to clean install Windows 11 again on this machine after the announcement) for this capability to show up on my Dev and later Canary channel test PCs. And now it’s here: woo-hoo!

The Learning Process Begins…

Now the real understanding of what Phone Link can do for me begins. I’ve got the devices paired, and the iPhone on charger so it can run all do. I just had a notification of an incoming (spam) call show up on the desktop, but declined it before I could capture the screen pop that informed me about same. But I can show you the declined notification left behind:

Phone Link Pairs Up iPhone Build 25330.declined

Screen pops and notifications are all part of the service that Phone Link provides.

As I get more time working with the connection, I’ll understand much better what it can do for me. But I’m still jazzed, and happy to finally be able to leverage phone on PC and vice-versa, after more than a decade of rather more distant relations between the two platforms. Good-oh!


CarPlay Cable Connections Are Key

Here’s another recent lesson learned from our just-completed trip to New England. On our reconnaissance mission in late July, we quickly figured out that a Lightning cable between iPhone and in-car USB makes connecting simple and fast. This time around, we learned that the cable itself also matters. Though I packed 3 such cables in our cable bag, only one of them worked well to support CarPlay. Hence my title: CarPlay cable connections are key. Let me explain…

Why CarPlay Cable Connections Are Key

One of the cables was probably shorted: the charge indicator kept turning on and off when it was in use in the car. That simply won’t do.

The second cable was an old — iPhone 6 vintage, at least — Apple-provided charging cable. Clearly, it couldn’t handle the bandwidth requirements needed to ferry comm traffic between the iPhone and the car’s built-in display. It simply didn’t work reliably or well.

The third cable proved to be the charm. It was a 10-foot Amazon Basics USB A for iPhone and iPad cable purchased in 2019. This item is no longer in stock, but something like this iPhone 11 model (US$16.99) would undoubtedly work. I gave one to my son when he went off to school, so I’m ordering 2 more right now.

Underlying USB Support in CarPlay

As I understand it, Lightning cables support USB 2.0 more or less uniformly (here’s an interesting discussion from Volvo, and an informative Reddit thread). My guess is that both of my old cables were sufficiently “used” that they simply couldn’t provide full USB 2.0 capability/bandwidth. The newer cable — despite its 10ft (~3M) length — worked just fine.

Hint/tip: before you take off on a road trip, it’s probably a good idea to test your chosen Lightning cables (listening to music is a fair method) to make sure they can carry the load. I’d also recommend taking a spare — I always do — just in case you lose or damage one while traveling.