We tend to think of Windows as an agnostic operating system. It works with almost any device you buy, regardless of the brand name of that device. But when it comes to smartphones, everything on your Windows 1
The ‘Your Phone’ app makes Android and Windows One
What if I told you that you can see your phone’s notifications, write text messages, and even mirror your phone’s screen in Windows 10? The Microsoft-created Your Phone app only takes a few minutes, but you can fully integrate your Android phone with your PC. And since the Your Phone app isn’t available on iOS, it’s the best reason for Windows users to skip iPhone and choose Android.
Texting or calling from your PC is super easy with the Your Phone Windows app. It shows all your text conversations in a layout similar to Facebook Messenger, and even shows notifications for incoming texts and calls. And because your conversations are synced between your phone and PC, you don’t have to worry about missing messages as you jump from one device to another.
The Windows Your Phone app also makes it easy to transfer photos between your phone and PC. Just press the “Photos” button on the desktop app to open your phone’s gallery. From there you can drag and drop photos between devices or even delete photos from your phone. It’s a lot easier than using a cable to transfer photos, and it can streamline the way you work on the computer.
One of the strangest features Your Phone has to offer is Android screen mirroring. The feature is exclusive to the selected Surface Duo Samsung devices at the time of writing, but you can see and interact with your phone’s screen on your computer. You can even run Android apps on your PC with select Samsung Galaxy devices – a trick that can revolutionize your workflow (or distract you from your work).
Getting started with the Your Phone PC app is easy. Just download Your Phone Companion from the Play Store on your phone. Sit at your PC, launch the Your Phone Companion app on your phone and follow the instructions to pair both devices.
Office 365 works better with Android
Your annual Office 365 subscription comes with a ton of benefits, including access to Microsoft’s professional apps, Microsoft Teams messaging service, and a ton of OneDrive cloud storage. But you are not stuck with working on your PC as your Android phone has excellent Office integration.
The all-in-one Office mobile app makes it super easy to view or compose Word documents, spreadsheets and slideshows on your phone. It connects directly to OneDrive and Microsoft Teams, so you can easily retrieve files you’ve created on your PC or share documents with colleagues on the go. Of course, OneDrive and Teams also have dedicated Android apps, which you can use to back up files, share photos, or communicate with teammates while jumping between your phone and computer.
For even more control over your Microsoft productivity tools, download the Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft Edge browser on your Android device. The Microsoft Launcher adds useful reminders and calendar events to your phone’s home screen, while the snappy Edge browser lets you sync browsing history, bookmarks, and logins from your PC to your phone (assuming you don’t already do this through Chrome).
Some of these features are available on iOS, but they are more robust (and often arrive much earlier) on Android devices. The Android operating system is more “open” than iOS, making it a better platform for deep integration with Microsoft productivity tools. Which, of course, brings us to our next point… the future of Microsoft and Android integration.
The future of Windows depends on Android
Microsoft has done the unthinkable in recent years. The company with a reputation for whimsy partnered with Google to develop the new Edge Browser, a replacement for Internet Explorer. It started streaming Xbox games to Android phones and released its first Android device, the Surface Duo with two screens. How about that?
Do not worry; Microsoft will not give up on Windows any time soon. As CEO Satya Nadella explained, Microsoft is gearing up for a world of cloud computing, where apps and services are streamed to your device regardless of form factor, operating system or processing power. The most common cloud computing device in our future will be small, lightweight, and energy efficient, which is why Microsoft (the king of bulky Intel desktops) appears to have a renewed obsession with Android and ARM architectures.
Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure, called Azure, is already helping people run professional software and games over the cloud. But it will take years for cloud computing to reach its full potential. Meanwhile, Microsoft is working directly with Google and Samsung to improve the Android experience for Windows users. And while some of these improvements will make their way to iOS, deep integration with tools such as the Your Phone app and Microsoft Launcher remains exclusive to Android.
People who use an iPhone with their Windows computer are missing a lot of cool features, such as texting from your computer through the Your Phone app. Still, it’s worth noting that most of these features are available to Mac iPhone users. If you’re determined to buy an iPhone but still want to text from your desktop, consider grabbing a Mac computer.