When Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be a universal operating system available on all device classes, from tablets to laptops and desktop PCs, Windows 10 phones seemed like the ideal mobile phone to have. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way Microsoft expected. Their failure to attract developers to the “universal app” ecosystem and the low sales of their Windows 10 phones has effectively killed the Windows Phone platform. It doesn’t mean that Windows 10 users can’t have an integrated experience on other smartphone platforms, though.
Meet “Your Phone” and its “Companion”
There have been several attempts to integrate the desktop and smartphone environments on Windows and other operating systems before – think Samsung’s exclusive “SlideSync” app or third-party solutions like AirDroid, for example. Now, this function comes integrated with Windows 10 through the “Your Phone” app.
This app makes it easy for you to keep your desktop and mobile in sync, transfer photos from your phone to your PC easily, and handle your notifications on your PC or laptop without having to unlock your phone every time you get one. It’s a simple but versatile app that does exactly what you expect it to do.
The function of this app is simple: connect your phone to your PC – and it does just that. First, you need to install the app on your desktop or laptop PC – you can do so easily by connecting the Windows Store with your Microsoft account. Then, you’ll need to install a “Companion” app from the Play Store on your Android phone (this app is currently an Android exclusive, with no word on when – if ever – it will be released for iOS). You need to connect the two devices through a network (WiFi) – the two apps will take care of this part – and you are done.
The “Your Phone” app will give you access to your notifications, text messages, and the last 25 photos and screenshots snapped with your phone.
The ‘iMessage for Windows’
One of the most attractive features of the Apple ecosystem is that iMessage works on your phone and your desktop, as well. Many services have tried to replicate this – both WhatsApp, and Google’s Messages have found their place in a desktop web browser in the last few years. “Your Phone” takes care of this without relying on a third-party service, though – simply, though the Windows 10 notification area.
Whenever you receive a message through an app that supports quick replies from the notification area of your phone, you’ll be able to send a quick response from your Windows 10 notification as well. Also, if you go to the “Your Phone” app, you’ll be able to read all your messages, reply to them, and compose new ones quickly and easily.
While the “Your Phone” app lacks certain features, like mirroring the phone’s screen to your PC, for example, it’s a truly useful app if you don’t want to interrupt your work to handle notifications on your phone constantly. And it’s completely free.