My primary development machine is a desktop Windows PC, and I’m an iPhone user. Often, I’ll want to share a website that I’ve discovered on my desktop PC via the iPhone’s Messaging app, and as of this writing, the world of iMessage is still completely isolated from Windows, likely for strategic reasons on Apple’s part. So how do you get a link from your desktop Windows machine to an iPhone? Here are a few different methods I’ve tried:
- Re-type on your iPhone: This is the most obvious but it’s a pain.
- Send it in in an email to your phone: This used to be my method, but that too is a pain.
- Use a notes sharing app like OneNote, Evernote or Google Keep: Seems a recipe for digital clutter if they’re not links you want to preserve over time.
- Use an app like PushBullet or QPush: While these apps are good, I’ve found their reliability to be spotty.
Each of these has their drawbacks. The method I now prefer is to use the QR code feature of iOS as follows:
- Install the free Chrome extension Quick QR Code Generator.
- Any time you visit a website you want to share, simply click the toolbar button:
- then, simply get your iPhone out, launch the Camera app, and you should get a handy link to the website right at the top of the screen:
Tap the “Website QR Code” banner at the top of the screen on your iPhone, and you’ll have the URL you were visiting on your desktop ready to share via iMessage, email or more.
Steve’s a Seattle-based entrepreneur and software leader, husband and father of three. He’s half Canadian, and east-coast born and raised. Steve has made the Pacific Northwest his home since 1991, when he moved here to work for Microsoft. He’s started and sold multiple Internet companies. Politically independent, he writes on occasion about city politics and national issues, and created Alignvote in the 2019 election cycle. He holds a BS in Applied Math (Computer Science) and Business from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated a George F. Baker Scholar. Steve volunteers when time allows with Habitat for Humanity, University District Food Bank, Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and other organizations in Seattle.