Why Windows 10 Android app streaming won’t work with every phone

Windows 10 Android apps streaming

With May 2020 Update, Microsoft has introduced support for
‘Hosted Apps’, which are registered as independent apps on
Windows 10 with access to background tasks, notifications,
tiles, and more.

According to Microsoft, a hosted app shares the same executable
as a parent host app, but it would look and behave like a
separate app on the system. This concept allows a component in
an app to behave like a standalone Windows 10 program, but the
component will require a host process in order to execute the
task.

Microsoft now allows Windows 10 Your Phone app to stream your
Android apps to the desktop using this hosted app concept. In
this case, the Your Phone app is hosting your Android apps, and
the hosted Android app has its own start tile, identity, and
deep integration with Windows 10 features.

Windows 10 Android apps

When you configure the Your Phone app and link your Samsung
Galaxy device to Windows 10, you can launch your Android apps
in a separate window. This allows you to interact with multiple
applications at once and carry work without using the Your
Phone app at the same time.

The app streaming feature is gradually rolling out to Windows
Insiders on Release Preview Channel, but there’s a catch—the
feature works only with Samsung phones.

Originally, Windows 10’s Your Phone app screen
mirror feature was supposed to mirror your Android screen
to Windows 10 device over Bluetooth Low Energy, which could
have allowed wider compatibility for phones, but it often did
not work as intended.

As a result, Microsoft said it was dropping support for
Bluetooth Low Energy, making the mirroring feature exclusive to
Samsung phones.

Your Phone mirror

Bluetooth Low Energy feature is available only on a handful of
Windows machines, mostly the flagship products from Microsoft
and its partners.

By dropping support for Bluetooth Low Energy, Windows 10’s
screen mirroring now works on more PCs, but it also meant that
screen mirror will require assistance from the phone
manufacturer.

Since Microsoft and Samsung are close partners, the tech giant
worked with Samsung to develop “Link to Windows” that works
over Wi-Fi and is deeply integrated into the OneUI.

During the initial setup, Windows 10 connects to the Samsung
phone over Bluetooth, but it uses a Wi-Fi-based technology to
stream apps directly to the desktop and the latency is reduced
between the devices due to the “special drivers” built into the
OneUI.

Windows 10 and Samsung

In other words, this integration isn’t only about Bluetooth as
it also uses Wi-Fi and custom drivers to reduce the latency,
thus enabling a smooth streaming experience. The close
collaboration allows faster and reliable streaming of Android
apps.

Of course, it’s not something that you can install by hacking
your non-Samsung device. It requires the OEM to install the
driver in their phone’s firmware or ROM to make it happen.

Windows 10’s app streaming feature could also come to other
non-Samsung hardware, but the companies must install the driver
and enable the integration.

As others have suggested, Microsoft’s
Surface Duo will also ship with the special driver to enable
screen mirroring and app streaming support on Windows 10.

If don’t want to buy a Samsung phone to try out the new
feature, you’ve two options – buy Surface Duo or wait until
your OEM (OnePlus, Xiaomi, etc) collaborates with Microsoft.

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