Why does Microsoft think you need the Windows 10 Your Phone app? Because it retains the most important functions of a phone: access to your photos, messages, notifications, calls and even your phone's home screen – without having to take your phone out of your pocket.
That may sound ridiculous, but think again: as soon as you take your phone out of your pocket, you immediately get lost in messages, email, Instagram – all these things distract from your focus and flow while you are on your PC works. Theoretically, you could refuse to open Outlook on your PC and use your phone instead. But that's not it, right? Because the PC is much more convenient ̵
The functionality of your phone is essentially complete, but the landing was a bit rough. You need to mix and match the right PC and phone hardware to get the most out of your phone, but the most useful basic functions are already available for the entire world. We can also show you what the final vision looks like and what (if anything!) You need to get there. Your phone is surprisingly simple and effective, and it goes way beyond our first look at the experience with your phone.
Installation: what you need
Due to the "walled garden" approach that Apple uses with iOS, your phone is mainly linked to Android. (Although your phone technically supports iPhones, Microsoft no longer lists them with supported phones.) Even then, not every phone supports your Your Phone feature. You now get the best experience with a Samsung Galaxy or OnePlus phone.
Every recent Android phone must be able to connect to your phone and receive the basic functions of your phone: photos, text messages, and notifications. The newer, more advanced functions (calling and communicating with the home screen of the phone) are limited to a smaller subset of devices (in principle Galaxy phones and recent OnePlus phones). Unfortunately, your phone can currently only be paired with a single phone .
Here is a more detailed list of the hardware and software requirements for each Your Phone feature, currently:
Photos, messages, and notifications:
A Windows 10- PC with Windows 10 Update from April 2018 or later, and an Android phone with Android 7.0 or later.
Phone calls (calls) from your PC:
A PC with Windows 10 with build 18362.356 or newer and an Android phone with Android 7.0 or higher.
Interaction with the screen of your telephone (telephone screen) from your PC:
A Windows 10 Insider PC that supports energy efficient edge mode, including Surface Laptop 2, Surface Pro 4-6, Surface Book 1-2 and Surface Go. A list of supported phones is here with most Samsung Galaxy and recent OnePlus devices supported.
In general, I have been very lucky with calls and phone screen while using the latest Windows 10 Insider Fast Ring previews that are optimized for the latest version of your phone. But the basic functions (texts, photos & notifications and notifications) should work well with a regularly updated Windows 10 PC. Remember that this should all be open to a wider subset of devices over time.
Set up your phone on your smartphone
While the Your phone app needs to be pre-loaded or downloaded automatically on most PC & # 39; s, you must & # 39; You must download the corresponding app for your phone, also known as Your Phone Companion. The Your Phone Companion for Android can be downloaded via the link or you can enter your telephone number in the Your Phone app on Windows. Microsoft sends an SMS to your phone with the download link in it.
Please note that you must set up your Phone Companion on both the phone and your phone on the PC at the same time, ensuring that your phone and PC are up-to-date, turn on Bluetooth on both devices, and start both apps. You will quickly go through a short series of steps with which your phone and your PC can connect.
Setup requires a fair amount of back and forth, and some tampering needs to be done. Setup probably makes sure that Bluetooth is enabled on both devices, but not always. The installation process will probably also pair both devices for you, but when I switched test phones, I had to perform these steps manually. Ensure that both devices are on the same WiFi network for easier communication. And when it is finally in use, you probably need to approve individual Your Phone Companion permissions for SMS &, and then calls, and then notifications, and so on; It's a hassle, but the permissions are there to ensure that apps don't abuse your privacy.
Don't be put off by the apparent complexity. We have described many of the steps that Windows must take behind the scenes, and some of them have just gone through the normal privacy approvals.
Using your telephone
Once the installation is complete, it is time to actually use your telephone . Here is a quick guide to all the ins and outs of each of the apps.
A possible gotcha has to do with the screen keyboard of your smartphone. Your phone is designed to give you access to your phone from your PC, using your physical keyboard to connect and respond to messages. I was shocked when I discovered that when I grabbed my phone (by habit) to respond to a text, the keyboard on the screen had disappeared. If that happens, try searching for the & # 39; keyboard & # 39; in the Android Settings menu on your phone and make sure there is an option to enable the onscreen keyboard even when your PC is typing. This gives you the freedom to use your phone the way you want, even when it's connected to the PC.
Do not forget to check the settings-equipment of your telephone app at the bottom left, where there are options, for example to allow text messages, but no MMS images.
Photos & # 39; s
The Photos & # 39; s tab of your phone is similar to the Photos & # 39; s app in Windows: if you take a photo with your phone, the photo & # 39; s of your phone you are available to share or edit. You will see a matrix of up to 25 photos and screen shots on the Your Phone Photos tab, which you can copy, share or save from the tab. Frustratingly, you cannot edit them directly with Photos unless you save them to your hard drive, and then edited them with Photos.
In this context, & # 39; Messages & # 39; just an abbreviation for SMS / MMS SMS messages, no specific app on Android or anywhere else. As a result, it is a bare overview of the text messages that you and your contacts have exchanged, nothing more. Most messaging apps, including Skype, offer a "call" option, and usually also a video chat option. Messaging does not do either, although you could argue again that the bald approach is needed to maintain power.
The Settings option to download images sent via MMS texts automatically requires some clarity. First, when I specifically enabled it, a test photo sent to me via SMS was not saved on my PC, although my phone is not configured to automatically save photos sent to my phone. (However, the photo appeared as a text message inline.) It would also be useful to know exactly where MMS images are stored and whether a backup to OneDrive is made automatically. This is why people still use Snapchat.
Unfortunately, Messages still displays messages that you have archived on your phone, including automated texts of one-time passwords that a web service can send you for two-factor authentication. (Note that it is safer to use an authenticator app for 2FA instead.)
Similarly, notifications represent nothing more than the Android notifications that apps already send to your phone's home screen . There is not much to do here, although you have the option to filter those notifications so that only a subset is passed on to your PC.
Like new email notifications, they slide in at the bottom right and reside in your Action Center. That is reason enough to consider the filter options, because you can now see a notification for a new e-mail on your phone and another for the Mail or Outlook app on your PC.