Why Android Users Need Windows 10’s “Your Phone” App

Your Phone Phone app showing an assortment of photos.

The Your Phone app in Windows 10 connects your phone and your PC. It works best for Android users, allowing you to send text from your PC and transfer photos wirelessly back and forth. Notification synchronization and screen replication features are also under study.

Android users enjoy the best integration

the Your phone is a powerful and often overlooked part of Windows 10. If you are an Android user, you can use it to send text directly from your PC, view all notifications from your phone and quickly transfer photos. If you have the right phone and the right computer, you can even use the Your Phone app to display your phone's screen and view it on your computer.

Unfortunately, iPhone users will not understand any of this. Apple's restrictions prevent this level of integration. IPhone users can configure your phone's application for send web pages back between their phone and their PC, but that's it. Do not even ask yourself about Windows phones, which Microsoft has been abandoning for a long time.

Sending SMS from your computer and uploading photos is currently running on current stable versions of Windows 10. The notification and screen mirror features are only available for certain Windows insiders, but they should arrive soon for all world.

How to configure the application Your phone from Windows 10

The linking process is simple. Your phone is installed with Windows 10, but you can download it from the store if you have already uninstalled it. Launch the "Your phone" application from the Start menu to begin.

How to launch the application Your phone under Windows 10

Select "Android" and click "Start" to link the application to an Android phone. You will be prompted to log in to the application with a Microsoft account if you are not already logged into your PC with one.

If you are not already logged in with your Microsoft account, sign in when prompted. The installation wizard will ask you to download the Microsoft software. Your telephone companion app on your Android phone and click "Continue."

Your phone PC application prompts you to install the Android app with an arrow pointing to continue.

Launch the Your Phone Companion app on your Android phone and log in with the same Microsoft account that you use on your PC. Follow the quick installation process. On the final screen, tap "Allow" to connect your PC to your phone. Text messages and pictures from your phone will begin to appear in your phone's application.

Your companion phone app with a box around the allow button.

How to transfer photos to your PC using your phone

Your phone application with photos next to the window of the file explorer.

The Your Phone app in Windows 10 displays recent photos and screenshots you have taken on your Android phone. The last 25 photos or screenshots you take are displayed when you click on "Photos" in the right bar.

From there, you can drag the photos to a folder in the File Explorer or right-click and choose "Copy" or "Save As" to move them to your PC. In addition, you can select "Share" to send the photo by text or email.

This sounds minor, but avoiding the hassle of connecting your phone to your PC or jumping in hoops with Google Photos or OneDrive is a feature that saves a lot of time. Each mobile screen capture of this article has gone through this photo transfer process to switch from phone to PC for editing.

If you need to transfer an older image, you will need to connect your phone to your PC via cable, transfer it to a cloud service such as OneDrive, or email it.

How to send an SMS from your Windows 10 PC with an Android phone

Your phone application displaying text messages with contact photos.

The application Your phone displays all your SMS conversations from your phone. You can send replies and see incoming text messages in one place, like MightyText or Pushbullet. Microsoft has been trying to accomplish this with Cortana, but it lacked a unifying and practical interface, and finally, the feature was closed in favor of Your phone. Your conversations are updated to match your phone. Therefore, if you delete a wire from your phone, it also disappears from the PC.

Send SMS from the App Your phone is simple, and the general layout can remind you of an email. Click "Messages" in the left sidebar to view all your current text messages. If you do not, try clicking on "Refresh". Click on the thread you want to answer (as you would with an email) and type in the "Enter a message" field to answer.

You can also scroll through the history of your text messages if you want to refer to an older message. In update Insider Buildings, the contact pictures that you have set on your Android phone will be synchronized with the Your Phone PC application, as shown in the picture above. Microsoft says that you will soon be able to respond from the Windows notification that appears when you receive text, but we are not able to test it.

How to reproduce the screen of your phone on your PC

Android phone screen reflected on a Windows PC

The most interesting feature is the one that most people can not use – for now. Microsoft brings screen mirroring for Android on your PC. But for the moment, the requirements are incredibly strict. Not only will you need a specific phone (a handful of Samsung and OnePlus devices), but you will also need a rare Bluetooth specification on your PC – at least Bluetooth 4.1 and more specifically with a low power device capability. All Bluetooth 4.1 devices do not support low-power devices, and you will find this specific variant of Bluetooth on very few PCs. In fact, only one device in the Surface range meets this qualification: Surface Go.

Even if you have all this hardware – unlikely – this feature is only available for the moment on the booted versions of Windows 10. It will come in a stable form with the release of May 2019 update of Windows 10.

Unfortunately, this means that very few people are able to test the feature at the moment, and we have not seen it in action at all. beyond a few screen shots. But what we have seen seems intriguing.

How to mirror the Android notifications on your PC

Your PC application phone displaying various notifications of Wyze, Alexa, Android settings and Twitter.

The Your Phone app will soon be able to reflect the notifications of your Android phone on your PC. Internal testers are already able to preview the feature. It will probably appear for everyone in a future version of Windows 10 in six or twelve months.

The notifications from your Android phone will appear on your PC and erasing the notification from your PC will erase it from your phone. You can personalize applications that display notifications on your PC, either to limit them to the notifications you want, or to prevent duplicates.

Unfortunately, all you can do is clear the notifications. Although newer versions of Android allow notification interactions (such as responding to a message), this feature is not reflected on your PC.

This is another Microsoft feature previously provided by Cortana and later retired in favor of this option.

If you are using an initiated version of Windows 10, you can select "Notifications (In Overview)" and go through the wizard to give the application access to your notifications. It will ask you to enable access to notifications for the Your Phone Companion app on your Android phone. Click "Get Started" and then "Open Settings for Me" to continue.

The notification pane of your phone app with a box around the button open settings for me.

Your phone should automatically open your notification settings. Scroll to "Your Phone Companion" and turn it on.

Android notification access settings with a box around your phone companion.

You will receive a prompt confirming that you want to enable notifications. tap Allow. The text mentions the possibility of configuring do not disturb; most applications create notifications, so they need access to not disturb the settings in order to use them. In this case, your phone companion simply reads the notifications to display them elsewhere. It will not really interact with Do Not Disturb mode.

Allow your phone companion's dialog box with a checkbox allowing the option

You may want to adjust an additional parameter. If you have an app on both Android and PC (like Google Hangouts or Email), you'll start seeing double notifications. The Your Phone PC app allows you to precisely control the application notifications you see. To get there, click on "Settings" in the lower left corner.

Your phone application with an arrow pointing to the settings in the lower left corner.

Then scroll down the list and click on the words "Choose the applications you want to receive notifications for." An application list will appear and you can disable all duplicate notifications that your PC has already given you.

The settings of your phone application with a "Choose which apps you want to receive notifications" dialog box.

Clear notifications from the app Your PC phone also removes them from your Android phone.

Overall, the application Your phone is an unsung hero of Windows 10. It offers real added value by allowing you to reach the phone less often, whether to reply to a text, view a notification or move images. If you have not tried yet and you have an Android phone, you should give it a chance. You can be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

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