Microsoft is keen to remind everyone that ‘Windows loves all your devices’, and at its Build 2018 conference it's just shown off its updated ‘Your Phone’ app, which will make interacting with your smartphone via your Windows 10 device easier than ever.
When the app arrives with the upcoming Redstone 5 update later this year, Your Phone in Windows 10 will be able to show you notifications, messages and more from your smartphone, so you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket.
It offers similar functionality to apps such as Pushbullet, but this is the first time the features have been integrated officially into Windows. While Apple allows this level of interactivity between Macs and iPhones and iPads, what appears to set Microsoft’s offering apart is that it will work with smartphones from a range of platforms, not just those running Microsoft’s struggling Windows 10 Mobile operating system.
PC phone home
Shilpa Ranganathan, who announced the new app on stage at the Build 2018 keynote, showed us how the app would work, with a connected smartphone receiving a text message which was also displayed in the Your Phone app on a Windows 10 PC.
You can then reply to texts using your PC – writing lengthy texts is much easier with a physical keyboard. You can also drag and drop images to and from text messages and your Windows 10 desktop.
The demo also showed a photo that had been taken on a smartphone being displayed on the Windows 10 PC – images can be opened in a photo-editing app on the PC, and saved to the PC as well.
Android notifications can also be shown in Windows 10 or in a web browser, and interacted with on the PC.
As we mentioned, we’ve seen some of these features before in other apps, but it’s great to see them being integrated so well into Windows 10 – and it's another reason we're looking forward to Redstone 5.