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Home / Tips and Tricks / This app for Android texts and calls from Windows 10 beats Google Messages. This is how it works

This app for Android texts and calls from Windows 10 beats Google Messages. This is how it works



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Take full control of your phone from your computer.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple users are quick to indicate how seamless they are iPhone, iPad and Mac everyone works together. And for the longest time, admittedly, they had boastful rights. But Microsoft is your phone App on Windows 10 ($ 158 at Amazon) is catching up quickly and in some ways outperforms Apple.

Google tried to fill the gap with Messages for Web so that Android owners can send and receive text messages from any computer. But this is where the service stops.

If you want to view notifications, make calls, or even access your camera roll, you need to turn to a Microsoft app called Your Phone. Below, I’ll walk you through how to set it up and explain what you can do with each of the tabs in the app. If you’re using a newer Samsung Galaxy phone like this Note 20 UltraYou can even run Android apps on your computer – it’s pretty cool.

Overall, it’s pretty good and something I’ve been using for the past week. After I’ve used it, one thing is clear: Google’s “Messages” option is good, but it doesn’t contain anything about the overall package that Microsoft has integrated into Windows 10.

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Your phone works with any Android phone with Android 7 or later.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Set up the Your Phone app on your PC and Android device

The Your Phone app is already installed on your computer as long as you have installed the Windows 10 October 2018 update. It’s not a bad idea to click your PC to make sure that your PC is running the latest version of Windows Beginning > the settings > Update & security > Check for updates and installing pending updates.

Open the Your Phone app on your PC and sign in to your Microsoft account.

Your Android phone must be on Android 7.0 or higher. If your phone was made in the past few years, you should be ready. You can check which version of Android is running in the Settings app, usually under System or About Phone.

Open the browser on your Android phone and enter www.aka.ms/yourpc in the address bar. Your phone will then either take you to your phone’s app list in the Play Store. If you have a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone, you will be directed to the Link to Windows app in the Play Store.

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To set it up on your Android phone, all you have to do is follow the instructions and authorize your device upon request.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Download and install the app and sign in with the same Microsoft account that is associated with your Windows 10 computer.

Follow the directions in the Your Phone app on your computer and on your phone. You’ll need to approve a range of permissions, from accessing notifications to allowing your phone to access your text messages and phone calls.

Once the app is installed, you’re signed in, and all permissions have been approved, you can have full control of your phone from your computer.

Test your Android notifications

Use the Notifications tab to browse alerts on your phone instead of looking at your phone to see if there are any new notifications. The first time you open the tab, you’ll need to make some additional settings. However, as long as you follow the directions on your computer and phone, it’s a breeze.

You can control which app notifications can be displayed on your computer and which remain on your phone in the Settings section of the app on your computer.

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You can send and receive text and picture messages using your computer.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Keep this text conversation going

By far my favorite feature of using your phone is the ability to send and receive text messages on my computer. It works similarly to Google Messages for Web, but instead of having to use a website, you access your messages directly in the Your Phone app.

You’ll receive new message notifications with a quick reply text box, and the ability to send GIFs, photos and videos, whether they’re from your phone or computer.

You can even see all of the photos someone has sent you, but you’ll have to use your phone to view videos.

The best part? It doesn’t matter which SMS app you are using on your Android phone. Google Messages for Web requires you to use this particular app, but your phone will definitely work.

So far I have encountered two potential drawbacks. If you’re using the Google Messaging app, archived conversations will still appear as an active conversation in the Your Phone app. And coincidentally, my phone and PC are going out of sync, resulting in messages not showing up on my computer. However, clicking the Refresh button at the top of the screen will usually fix this.

Photos of your phone

Photos and screenshots are available immediately.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Access your photos and screenshots

Select the Photos tab to view the photos and screenshots saved on your phone. You can drag and drop anything from this tab onto your computer desktop or open it in another app on your computer.

Your phone limits the display to the last 2,000 items, but this should be more than sufficient in most cases. If you recently took a photo or screenshot and it doesn’t appear, click the Refresh button at the top of the window.

Phone call prompt

Make and receive calls using your Android phone on your computer.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Make and receive calls

Instead of picking up your phone, use your PC to make or answer a call. Before you can make or receive a call, click the Phone tab in the Your Phone app on your computer and follow the instructions. You must have Bluetooth turned on on both your phone and computer for phone calls to work.

Once the additional setup is complete, all incoming calls will appear as notifications on your computer. You can also make a call by dialing a number or choosing from your contacts on the Phone tab.

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The Duo also lets you run Android apps on your desktop.

Run Android apps on Windows 10

Arguably the biggest benefit of using your phone is that you can use apps installed on your Android phone right on your computer. So if you’re obsessively scrolling through TikTok or want to access an app to control your lights, there’s no need to pick up your phone.

At the moment, the feature is limited to Samsung phones, but we know that Microsoft Surface Duo will also support the function when it starts on September 10th.

If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, you can access your Android apps by clicking the App tab on your phone app on your computer. For more information on this feature, see our full guide to Use your phone to run Android apps on your PC.


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Adjust your settings as needed

Finally, click the Settings tab. There you will find options to control which app notifications appear on your computer, enable or disable photo access, disable phone calls when you feel too busy, and control when notifications are marked as read.

If you are using a Samsung phone, you also have the option to allow information to be copied and pasted between your phone and computer.

After you have complete control of your Android phone on your Windows 10 PC, take a few minutes Optimize your computer to make sure it works smoothly. We Plus, there are a few tips and tricks for Windows 10 that are worth checking out. Also check out our top features of Android 11, the next big update from Google.


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