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August 2, 2018

Windows 10 update adds support for continuity functions via Your Phone app

by John_A

Microsoft is rolling out a new update for testers in its Windows Insiders program that delivers iOS-like continuity features to Windows 10. Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17728 (RS5) is now available for users in the Fast ring, making it easier to access content between your Windows PC and your smartphone. Through the new Your Phone app, Microsoft will allow smartphone users to mirror content from their devices to their Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft initially announced the feature earlier this year at its Build conference, promoting features like the ability to view messages, photos, and notifications from your phone directly from your PC. However, in a blog post detailing the latest features of the 17728 release, Microsoft only mentioned a few features, and capabilities vary depending on which smartphone platform you’re using. In this build, Android users will only be able to access photos on the phone from their desktop, and iPhone owners will be able to share webpages between the phone and PC to continue the browsing experience.

“Snap a pic on your Android, see it on your PC. You can finally stop emailing yourself photos,” Microsoft detailed in its blog post. “With Your Phone app, your Android’s most recent photos sync to your PC automatically. Need to add a photo to your presentation? Want to spruce up that selfie with some Windows Ink action? Just drag and drop.”

Microsoft did not mention the ability to view notifications or messages in this Windows 10 update. In the past, various PC manufacturers, including HP and Dell, have bundled software to make it easier to interact with your phone through the Windows desktop.

To begin using the Your Phone experience, Microsoft recommends you open the app on your Windows 10 PC after you install the latest update to begin the process of linking your phone. For Android devices, Android 7.0 or higher is required. “For PCs tied to the China region, Your Phone app services will be enabled in the future,” Microsoft said.

In addition to the new Your Phone features, Microsoft also made added some improvements to Narrator and made a number of performance fixes with this latest build.

There are, however, a few notable known issues with the build. Microsoft is aware of an issue with Start reliability and performance issues, and users with Windows Mixed Reality headsets may need to re-pair their controllers for a second time before they start appearing in the handset. Developers in the Fast ring must remain in same ring to enable additional content, such as activating developer mode.

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