Windows 10 preview introduces a ton of new features for Your Phone

Your Phone
Image credit: Microsoft

Windows 10 has witnessed the arrival of another new preview build, for testers in the fast ring who are playing about with the 20H1 update (which will debut in the first half of 2020), and it contains numerous tweaks for the Your Phone app.

Build 18908 works further on Your PhoneMicrosoft has already been doing a lot to the app of late – adding a bunch of smart new accessibility features, for starters.

Those include the addition of screen reading, facilitated by TalkBack (Google’s accessibility service on Android), with Your Phone able to hook up Narrator from your desktop PC, so that the Windows 10 screen reader can describe what you highlight and activate on your phone screen via your computer.

Furthermore, Focus Tracking allows you to interact with your Android device icons at a specified level of magnification while in ‘phone screen’, with the feature automatically following where your pointer is (or where you’re working with the keyboard).

Speaking of phone screen – the recently introduced feature which allows you to mirror your phone screen to the desktop PC – it now supports more mobile devices, specifically the Samsung Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+. Further handsets will be made compatible as time goes on, Microsoft promises.

Your Phone also gets a new icon for phone settings that allows the user to change the keyboard language or layout for their physical (PC) keyboard (and won’t affect the phone’s language or virtual keyboard settings).

You can now reply to a text directly from the desktop toast notification (Image credit: Microsoft)

You can now reply to a text directly from the desktop toast notification (Image credit: Microsoft)

Emoji picker and more

Aside from the added chunks of accessibility functionality, Your Phone has also got the ability to send (and receive) MMS messages (texts with images), as well as an emoji picker to conveniently add smileys and the like to your texts while composing on the PC.

Also filed under ‘handy’ is a new in-line reply which allows you to quickly respond to texts from the pop-up notification on the PC, without having to open the actual Your Phone application.

Various refinements have been made to the app’s interface, as well, and Microsoft has introduced the ability for Your Phone to sync over mobile data. This allows for syncing your phone’s texts, notifications and photos to your PC via a mobile data plan, rather than a Wi-Fi network, for situations where that might be useful.

As we mentioned, Microsoft has been working hard on Your Phone in the last couple of months, adding a lot of new features as it goes along.

The end result is, slowly but surely, a much better fleshed out application, and given the attention Your Phone has been getting of late, we can’t help but think that this app is a sizeable piece of the puzzle for Microsoft going forward into the future of computing (and more specifically a future where your PC and phone are tied ever closer together).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).