The key is to sync your Google life from Chrome OS to your iPhone. This can be simple in some cases because Google offers most of its essential apps on iOS. Things can be a little more complicated in other places, such as receiving and sending text messages via your Chromebook. Regardless, there are some workarounds you can employ to alleviate these discomforts and maximize your enjoyment of both your iPhone and Chromebook.
To truly devote to a Chromebook as your primary machine, you must use Google Drive as your immediate cloud storage solution. This does not preclude you from using iCloud for backups of your iOS devices, but you should store documents, photos, and other essential work data in Google Drive.
Fortunately, Google Drive has a simple iOS app you can download on your iPhone. Most apps make it simple to save items to Google Drive, so this isn’t a significant inconvenience. Of course, if you already use Dropbox or Box, these are viable options as well, as they are available on both iOS and Chrome OS.
Install all of the possible Google Workspace apps you need on your iPhone if you like a seamless productivity understanding between your iPhone and Chromebook. Create documents with Google Docs, spreadsheets with Google Sheets, and so on.
The good news is that all of these apps automatically sync to your Google Drive. This is also useful if you have an iPad (the best actual tablet), as you can work on all your devices without missing a beat.
Regarding bookmarks, you can now make Chrome your default browser on iOS. This was not previously possible, making it more challenging to sync browser history, bookmarks, and other necessary details between an iPhone and a Chromebook.
To make Chrome your default browser on iOS, go to Settings from within the Chrome app (see screenshots above). Of course, if you use Evernote to save links, you can also incorporate this into your workflow, as Evernote is a cross-platform solution.
The most challenging aspect of using an iPhone and a Chromebook together is messaging. With an Android device, you can instantly receive all of your text messages from your phone on your Chromebook. Unfortunately, this is not possible with an iPhone. You also cannot use Google Messages for the Web because you need to install the Google Messages app, which is unavailable on iOS.
My iPhone messaging integration solution uses Google Chat for most of my messaging needs. I realize this isn’t the ideal solution because some users prefer text messaging, but Google Chat is available on iOS. You’ll receive notifications on both your Chromebook and iPhone.
Other platform-agnostic messaging apps that work across the iOS and Chrome OS/Android ecosystems include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger (though I don’t recommend it), and Snapchat. It’s never a big deal if you can’t answer every message on your Chromebook, but if you use these popular apps, you should be able to receive some of them.
Both Apple and Google have viral Photos apps. As an Android and Chrome user, I’d argue that Google’s solution is superior, which is incredibly convenient because it’s also available on iOS. Because Apple does not make its Photos app available for Android, you must rely on Google to sync your photos to your Chromebook.
This is the simplest solution, but there are issues with original quality backups and paying for Google storage if you take a lot of photos. It’s also possible to manually transfer photos, which I’ll go over in detail in a future article, but it’s a lot more complex than using Google Photos.