Microsoft will soon roll out the first set of Your Phone features to select Windows users, letting them instantly access photos taken with their Android phone on their PC. According to a post on the Microsoft blog (as spotted by Engadget), the feature will be introduced with the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17728.
Microsoft initially announced Your Phone, a Windows app that promises closer integration between Windows PCs and smartphones, at its Build Developer conference in May. As well as automatic photo syncing, other promised features include the ability to access your phone’s notifications and text messages on your PC.
There are already plenty of ways for Android users to transfer photos from their phone to their Windows PC, including Windows’ cloud storage platform OneDrive. However, Your Phone is different to OneDrive as Microsoft says that on the new app, data will just be shared between devices and isn’t synced to the cloud.
Microsoft’s current attempt to integrate Android devices and Windows PCs is the Phone Companion app. However, this is more like a place to organize the various Microsoft Android apps then it is a dedicated window into your phone.
There is also Windows Launcher which brings features such as “Continue on PC” to Android phones. However, it isn’t ideal for people who don’t want to replace their regular Android launcher.
Closer integration between Windows and Android certainly makes sense for Microsoft. It announced the death of its own mobile platform back in October 2017. By continuing to improve integration with Android and iOS, it lets Microsoft keep, and potentially increase, its brand presence on mobile.
Your Phone is currently only available to those who have signed up for the Windows Insiders program and have a device running Android 7.0 or above. Users will first have to open up the app on their PC and then follow the link to download the companion app to their phone.
Assuming everything goes well with testing, it hopefully won’t be too long before the feature gets a full release.