Microsoft is significantly expanding the scope of its Your Phone feature in Windows 10, which allows you to easily and wirelessly connect your phone to your PC to transfer files and take calls and messages on your computer.
An update to the Your Phone app enables Android apps to be used side-by-side with Windows 10 apps on the desktop. It’s a move to build upon the phone mirroring the Your Phone app already offers.
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Currently only available to members of the Windows Insider programme, which provides early access to features Microsoft is testing out for Windows 10, the update to Your Phone is expected to make it into full release versions of Microsoft’s operating system.
In its current beta form, Your Phone will pull up Andoird apps from a connected handset and present them in a separate window on the Windows 10 desktop. From there, you’ll be able to access the likes of WhatsApp, Netflix, Instagram, Google apps, and a whole lot more, all without needing desktop versions of the apps to be installed on your PC.
It looks to be a pretty neat tool for people who want to access their phone apps while on their PC but don’t want to disrupt their flow by stopping to pick up their phone.
Samsung phones only (at first)
However, you’ll not only need to be a Windows Insider to get early access this new feature, but you’ll also need a Samsung phone. While Microsoft plans to support a range of Android devices, Samsung phones are the only devices supporting the new Your Phone feature at the moment.
That’s due to Microsoft’s close partnership with Samsung that was demonstrated with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Part of this partnership means the aforementioned phones will get access to Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service when it becomes part of Xbox Game Pass, which Note 20 buyers will get three months access to for free.
Other Samsung phones also come with a “Link to Windows” option in their drop-down menu. And Samsung phones often come bundled with Microsoft apps alongside native Google apps and Samsung’s own software, which further deepens the partnership between Samsung and Microsoft.
Microsoft regularly builds out features for Windows 10. But with the likes of the Microsoft Surface Duo on the horizon, we can expect closer ties between Windows 10 and Android devices to happen as the operating system evolves.