Microsoft has announced a major update for the Your Phone app, which will enable Android apps to be streamed to a Windows 10 PC.
The update was announced alongside the launch of Samsung’s latest smartphones and, starting with the Galaxy Note 20, will enable users to launch multiple Android apps and run them alongside desktop applications for Windows 10.
When it rolls out, the Your Phone app will show a grid of apps you have installed on your phone. Clicking it will open the app in a phone-shaped window, just as if it was running on your phone.
So, you’ll be able to open WhatsApp and reply to a message without picking up your phone, browse your Instagram feed, grab some grub from Uber Eats and so on. Users will also be able to pin their favourite Android apps to the taskbar and the Start Menu.
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In a blog post today, Microsoft said: “When you launch an app, it opens in a separate window, allowing you to multi-task and saving you the time and hassle of sign-in or set up. You can also pin your phone’s Android apps to your Windows 10 taskbar or Start menu for quick and easy access, making things like checking out your social feed or ordering your lunch while you wrap up a conference call even easier, without ever picking up your phone.”
Microsoft says Galaxy Note 20 users will be able to run a single app at launch, while the company is working on having multiple apps going simultaneously by the end of this year. Connection to the PC can be made with a single tap in the Quick Settings menu on the requisite smartphone. We’re not sure if and when it’s coming to non-Samsung phones.
The company says it’s all about ensuring productivity isn’t interrupted and it goes further than Apple’s macOS/iOS Continuity feature.
This isn’t the only exciting Microsoft and Samsung integration announced today. The Galaxy Note 20 will be compatible with Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service, with some phone buyers getting a free three months of access to the service.