Android Apps on Windows 10? Hands on with Phone Screen in the Your Phone app

Phone Screen e1563208193866

The application of your Microsoft phone in Windows 10 is really great if you are an Android user. As with the synergies with iOS and macOS, you can receive your text messages, notifications and recent photos directly on your PC without even touching your phone. But, if you are a Windows Insider, the application of your phone can go a little beyond that.

The reason why? You can reflect and control or write on your Android phone and Android applications from your PC while it is still in your pocket. The experience is known as "Phone Screen" and it is still a work in progress, but recently we spent some time playing with it. Here is more information about what we think.

The configuration is easy as 1,2,3, but only works with WiFi.

Of course you have already installed the Your phone application on your Android device, you can start with Phone screen by pairing your Android phone with your PC via Bluetooth. You can do so by clicking on the Screen section of your phone's telephone. For the first time, the application will help you in the process and give you instructions on how to link, but you can also link it manually by going to the Windows 10 configuration.

Once paired, you must keep Bluetooth enabled and your phone and PCs are connected to the same network and router, whether wired or wireless. You must also grant some permissions and accept and press "Start now" in the message that appears on your Android phone. This security feature only alerts you that your phone companion will capture everything that is displayed on your screen. You can prevent this from appearing by clicking "Do not show again".

Remember, the phone screen will only work if your PC and your Android phone are on the same network, and with Bluetooth enabled. However, since the application Your phone can now synchronize messages and photos via WiFi, we are curious to know if Microsoft could make the phone's screen work only with an LTE connection.


Bluetooth configuration in Windows 10

and control your Android applications in Windows 10 with a little latency

In our configuration in our home office, we have a very fast fiber optic connection, but we still experience a Little latency when playing with the phone screen in Windows 10. For our initial tests, we kept the phone and the Surface laptop as close as possible to our router.

When opening and interacting with Snapchat, WhatsApp and playing Dr. Mario World, there was only a slight delay between what actually appeared on the phone's screen and what appeared on our Windows 10 PC. It is barely noticeable, and it still felt as if we were holding the Android phone in our hands, instead of watching a transmission on our PC.

The experience is especially good because Snapchat and many other Android applications are not available in Windows 10. Despite that, there were only a few problems with the touch controls on our Surface with Phone screen. For example, we do not always recognize our touch input when it slides to discard notifications in the Android drop-down menu, forcing us to use the mouse to control our phone. The response to the messages using the keyboard on our Surface Laptop also worked well, and there was no delay in writing.

See a demo of the phone's screen in the video below. Audio is not available in this clip, since the audio from our Android phone is not transmitted to the PC, but to the phone itself.

The phone's screen is still in beta, at least for now

Although the phone's screen is only compatible with some phones and computers. Microsoft has a list right here, but most compatible Android phones range from the Samsung Galaxy S8 to the OnePlus 6T. Compatible PCs include the Surface Go, the Surface Laptop, the Surface Laptop 2, the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Pro 5, the Surface Pro 6, the Surface Book and the Surface Book 2. However, these Surface devices must be running the latest Bluetooth driver updates (Marvell 15.68.17013.110.) The phone's screen can work on other PCs, as long as it's compatible with the low-power Bluetooth peripheral feature, but that's not guaranteed.

Many may argue that it is not "fair" that the phone's screen is not compatible with all 10 device windows, but this only guarantees maximum compatibility and the best possible experience. Microsoft promises that it will add more PCs and phones to the list of compatible devices over time.

Phone Screen

Phone screen in Windows 10

The phone screen is the start of something excellent, but some features are still missing …

Microsoft is still working on the phone's screen experience, and there are some things that could be added. Since most mobile phones are often used for calls, a feature that allows users to make calls using the phone's screen (and transmit the audio to the PC instead of the phone) would be greatly appreciated. As in Dell Mobile Connect, a feature to use your PC as a Bluetooth speaker could also increase possible use cases of the phone's screen. However, with comments from Windows Insiders, Microsoft is likely to add more features as time goes by, so this is definitely the start of something great for Windows 10.

Additional readings: Microsoft, Phone screen, Windows 10, Windows Insider, Your phone

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