Microsoft is giving Android phone users a rather cool feature which will allow them to run the apps on their Android phone side by side with Windows apps on their Windows 10 PC. This is part of the big update to the Your Phone functionality in Windows 10. This cool functionality is part of the next version of the Your Phone app which is shipping to testers as part of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20185 and is rolling out to Windows Insider testers at this time. The fact that you can run your Android phone’s apps side by side mean you won’t need to install the same apps on your PC as well, and these can run seamlessly from the phone. Interestingly enough, at this time, the upgraded Your Phone functionality is pretty much limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, with further support for the just announced Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra arriving later this year.
The list of compatible phones at this time includes the Samsung Galaxy Note10, Samsung Galaxy Note10+, Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy A30s, Samsung Galaxy A31, Samsung Galaxy A40, Samsung Galaxy A50, Samsung Galaxy A50s and the Samsung Galaxy A70, to name a few. “Later in the year, Samsung Galaxy Note20 users will experience the power and convenience of running multiple apps side by side and we will continue to work with Samsung to bring this feature to additional devices. Apps will launch in separate windows enabling you to interact with multiple apps at the same time,” says Microsoft in an official statement. Expect more Android phones, including those from other brands, to get support for Your Phone's new functionality by the time this rolls out for all users later this year as part of a Windows 10 update.
Microsoft confirms that users will also be able to pin shortcuts for the apps from their Android phone to the Windows 10 task bar or the Windows 10 Start Menu. The Your Phone app will list all the apps on the Android phone connected at the time and will let you access these apps from there itself. It is not just that—you can also run multiple apps from your phone side-by-side too. The Your Phone app will list the most used apps on your phone at the top of the apps list and any apps that you launch will open in their own dedicated windows on your PC. There will also be new notification badges for your Android phone apps that you have kept open on the Windows 10 PC. However, Microsoft does warn that certain apps may block this functionality considering they do limit the ability to cast screens to other devices, for instance, and it’ll need an update from the app developers to make those apps compatible with the new Your Phone for Windows 10.
All said and done, this is perhaps the biggest update we will get for the phone mirroring experience on Windows 10 and Android phones. For instance, you will be able to not only access photos and messages from your phone without having to reach out for it, but also not have to duplicate apps between your phone and PC. For instance, WhatsApp, Gmail, Microsoft Word, Microsoft To-Do and Spotify, to name a few. This just makes everything simpler, and you will genuinely be able to plug in your Android phone as a productivity device without actually having to reach out for it much lesser than you probably do right now. Users who aren’t part of the Windows 10 Insiders testing program can expect this app to rollout for them in the coming months, with support for more phones baked in by then.