Microsoft is bringing Windows closer to your phone

Microsoft is bringing Windows closer to your phone

Matt Blowes May 09, 2018 Cloud Services, Technology, BYOD

Microsoft are attempting to bridge the gap between your mobile device and Windows computer with a flurry of new apps and features.

A new app named, 'Your Phone', will allow certain phone functions to be controlled from your PC. While the Microsoft Launcher and Edge browser apps will soon offer a more seamless day-to-day experience between your devices using the new Windows Timeline

The new apps were detailed at this year's Microsoft BUILD conference for developers, held on May 7-9.   

Your Phone

Your Phone will allow you to manage your iPhone and Android text messages, photos and notifications from a Windows 10 computer (pictured at the top of this article). However, it's likely the app will have limited capabilities on iPhone due to Apple's restrictions on how third parties access the iOS platform.

Your Phone will be available for Windows Insiders to begin testing later this week. The app is expected to be released to the public later in the year, possibly around October, when the next major feature update for Windows is due. 

Microsoft Launcher

The Microsoft Launcher app for Android offers a deeper integration between Android and Windows. It syncs contacts, calendars, themes/wallpapers and other features. 

Office files, links and photos can be shared with synchronised Windows computers. See the launcher in action in the video below. 

 

Microsoft Launcher is available now on the Google Play Store. It was previously available under its original name, Arrow Launcher. 

Timeline on mobile

The new Windows Timeline will soon be available for mobile devices. Timeline stores a history of open web browsers, apps, files and other information. It allows you to quickly jump back to something you were working on. 

Timeline across devices

On Android, Timeline will be added to the Microsoft Launcher app. On iOS, Timeline will be added to the Microsoft Edge web browser, originally released in November 2017. Microsoft did not detail when Timeline on mobile will become available. 

Windows 10 Mobile is no more

The Microsoft Launcher, Edge and Your Phone apps are further evidence that Microsoft has left the mobile device market. Windows Mobile devices are no longer available and Microsoft is no longer developing their own platform. 

These apps clearly show that Microsoft's mobile priorities have shifted. They appear part of a broader strategy to develop Windows more in-line with the way users interact with their PCs and mobile devices. 

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