SEATTLE – Windows Phone is long dead, long live Windows on your phone. At its Build developer conference here, Microsoft announced new mobile-friendly features for Windows 10, as well as iOS and Android smartphones .
Credit: MicrosoftOn PCs, Microsoft will release an app called Your Phone for access to text messages, photos and notifications from your handset. The company suggests you will be easily able to share between devices, like simply dragging your photos from your phone to your PC without ever touching the smartphone. This app will roll out to Windows Insider Program members this week, though we don’t have a definite date for everyone else.
At a keynote, the company only demoed the machine with an Android phone, showing how you can access texts and photos. It showed copying of images from a Windows desktop into a text. The company also used Your Phone to take the last 25 photos she took from her phone and save one of a receipt to her desktop to her PC. Additionally, there's a Notifications tab that shows everything from an Android phone. Notably, there was no demo of an iPhone, which may be a weaker experience because iOS has more restrictions.
Others have gotten into this space before. Dell, for instance, has its Mobile Connect program, which in addition lets users control Android devices. HP also has similar functionality in its Orbit app.
Timeline, a part of the Spring 2018 Update (formerly known as Redstone 4), lets you go back to different workflows you had open at different times and start them up again. On Android, Timeline will be part of the Microsoft Launcher for cross-device application launching. Later this year, Microsoft will bring the same functionality to iPhone and iPad, but you’ll need to install Microsoft’s Edge browser from the app store.
The phone functionality both from Windows 10 and on other devices are the biggest consumer-facing announcements at this developer-centric show. Microsoft is also showing off updates to the upcoming Sets feature that lets you organize apps into tabs and will demonstrate improvements to Outlook, such as paying bills over Microsoft Pay.
Microsoft has abandoned its own mobile efforts after Windows 10 Mobile was too little, too late in the marketplace. The company first announced intentions to hitch Windows 10’s star to iOS and Android at Build last year, and these new features further that commitment.
This article was originally published on Laptop Mag.