Microsoft had a trick up its sleeves at the Microsoft Build conference last week, one that integrates Windows 10 with your smartphone. The app is called “Your Phone” and it is a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that will be pushed for Windows Insiders in the coming weeks. No exact ETA is known at this time. What it does is allow users to access text messages, photos, and notifications on any Windows 10 PC from your phone.
Microsoft has also suggested that it will allow users to drag and drop photos from the phone to the PC without having to touch the smartphone. The demo shown off at Build used an Android smartphone and showed that you can drag a photo from your desktop into a text message on your Android device. The lack of an iOS demo has left some thinking that perhaps the same experience won’t be offered on Apple devices. This is due to how vigorously Apple locks down iOS devices. Word is that Microsoft might propose an idea of sharing messages with the iPhone and PC, whether Apple will bite remains to be seen.
As for security, Your Phone uses local connectivity via WiFi only on Android devices and word is that iOS devices will need Bluetooth as well. If you’re concerned about privacy, word is that data that users share between their PC and smartphone will never be sent to Microsoft servers. When the phone and PC aren’t connected, some data is stored in a local cache on the PC. That approach allows compliance with EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Your Phone app will grab the last month of text messages and the most recent 25 photos from your smartphone. It doesn’t mirror all the content on your phone, however. Your Phone won’t allow incoming calls to be handled via the PC, at least not yet. Microsoft is reportedly toying with that capability. Your Phone and Skype SMS relay will continue to be available and operate separately even if they seem to be similar. Microsoft isn’t the first to try this sort of phone mirroring tech, Dell Mobile Connect offers very similar capability, and Dell’s solution actually does allow you to receive and make calls from your PC as well. Here’s a quick demo of the Dell app…