While Windows has a very robust app ecosystem, there are some experiences such as Snapchat or TikTok which is only available on mobile.
Microsoft has found a solution to that problem by finding a way to bring the Android apps on your phone to your PC, via the Your Phone app.
Their latest feature lets you conveniently pin your favourite mobile apps to your taskbar or Start menu of your PC for quick and easy access. When you launch an app, it works as it would on your mobile phone and now opens as a separate window outside of the Your Phone app. So, whether you need to quickly reply to a conversation, respond to your social posts, or order food, you can do it fast and efficiently using your PC’s large screen, keyboard, mouse, pen and touch screen alongside your other PC apps.
With Your Phone apps, you can instantly access the Android apps installed on your mobile device right on your PC. Using a Wi-Fi connection, Apps allows you to browse, play, order, chat, and more – all while using your PC’s larger screen and keyboard. You can add your Android apps as favourites on your PC, pin them to your Start menu and taskbar, and open them in separate windows to use side-by-side with apps on your PC – helping you stay productive.
To use Apps, you will need:
· A PC running the Windows 10 May 2019 Update or later.
· To check and update your version of Windows, on your PC go to Settings > Updates & Security > Check for update.
· An Android device running Android 9.0 or greater, with Link to Windows. See the full list of supported devices here.
· Your Android device and PC to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
· Apps works for Your Phone app versions 1.20071.88 or higher. Older versions of the Your Phone app will show the previous phone screen experience.
What smartphones are supported?
Apps is available on select Samsung devices that have Link to Windows, such as:
· Samsung Galaxy Note9
· Samsung Galaxy Note10 series
· Samsung Galaxy Note20 series
· Samsung Galaxy S9 series
· Samsung Galaxy S10 series
· Samsung Galaxy S20 series
· Samsung Galaxy Fold
· Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
· Samsung Galaxy Z flip
Find the full list of supported devices here.
How do I interact with apps?
You can use your PC’s mouse, trackpad, keyboard, pen or touch-enabled to open, type, scroll, and interact with apps. A few tips for using your mouse and keyboard:
· Single click will behave the same as any single touch/tap interaction
· Right click anywhere on your phone screen to navigate to the previous page
· Click and hold will behave the same as a tap/hold interaction
· Click and hold and drag to select content
· Mouse scroll to move between pages vertically or horizontally
Some games and apps might not work with a mouse or keyboard. You’ll need to use a touch-enabled PC to interact with them.
How do I pin Android apps into Windows?
You can pin your Android apps to the Windows Start menu, taskbar, or add it to Your Phone app favorites.
To pin an app on your PC:
1. Open the Your Phone app
2. Go to Apps
3. Right click on the app icon you want to pin or add to your favorites
Are the apps from my phone now installed on my PC?
No, apps you open on your PC will be running from your Android device. Your Android device needs to be on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order for this to work. The Your Phone app is connecting and mirroring apps to your PC from your Android phone.
Can I access Android apps without linking my device?
No, you need to connect your Android device to your PC via the Your Phone app in order to use this experience.
Can I open multiple apps at the same time?
No, you can only open one Android app at a time. The Your Phone app is mirroring your Android device’s screen and the opened app in it. If you open a new app, the one you already have open will be replaced with the new app.
Where did Phone screen go?
Phone screen is still available, you can open it by using the Open phone screen button above the apps list. This will mirror your phone screen the same way it did before, but it will be on a separate window from the Your Phone app. Apps provides an easier new way to interact with all of the apps installed on your Android device by launching them directly
I can’t see my apps under my other Android or enterprise profile
The Your Phone app currently doesn’t support multiple Android profiles or work accounts. Only apps on your default profile will display in the Your Phone app. The Your Phone app isn’t compatible with work or school accounts.
Your Phone Apps will only work when your phone and PC can communicate with each other. They’ll both need to be connected to the same network (for example, your home Wi-Fi).
If attempting to use Apps in your workplace, a successful connection may not always be possible. In that event we recommend talking to your IT department or network administrator.
Common troubleshooting for Wi-Fi:
1. Check if your phone is connected to mobile data instead of Wi-Fi, by going into your phone’s Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi and ensure your Wi-Fi toggle is turned “On” and the status underneath your current network is “connected”.
2. Check if your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your PC.
· Start by checking your phone’s connection in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi and note the name of the network under the current network heading.
· On your PC go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi – check your PC Wi-Fi is turned “On” and the connected network is the same one as your phone.
· You may have two different Wi-Fi networks, e.g. one that uses the 2.4GHz band and the other 5GHz. If you click on your PC/phone Wi-Fi icon you should be able to see these networks in the list. Try connecting to the same network on both devices.
· Are you behind a firewall or using a VPN? If so, it could be blocking communication between your devices, you could try disabling these to see if this fixes the problem.
If you see an error message indicating your PC couldn’t connect to your phone, it could be for a variety of reasons. Here are few things to try:
On your Android phone, check that:
· Your phone is turned on.
· Battery Saver is turned Off on your phone.
· Your phone isn’t in Airplane mode.
· Your phone and PC are connected to the same network or Wi-Fi.
· You’re signed into Link to Windows with the same Microsoft account as the one on your PC.
On your PC:
· Check if your PC is connected to the Internet.
· Make sure Battery Saver is turned Off on your PC.
· Check that your system accounts are working correctly. In Windows, go to Settings > System > Shared experiences. Select Fix now.
· Some apps might block the ability to cast to another screens.
· Some games and apps might not respond to interactions from a mouse or keyboard connected to your PC. You’ll need to use a touch-enabled PC to interact with them.
· When you open an Android app via Your Phone, you view and interact with the app on your PC, but any audio coming from the app will play on your Android device. The sound isn’t transmitted to your PC.
You can download the Your Phone app for Windows here. The Link to Windows app is built into the supported Android handsets and can be found in the drop-down notification shade.
Developer: Microsoft Corporation