How to use Windows 10’s Your Phone experience

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Microsoft’s Your Phone app bridges the gap between your Windows 10 PC and a smartphone, allowing quick interactions with images shot with your phone’s camera and the ability to send and receive texts right from your PC. Having tried, and abandoned, using the phone as your PC with Continuum, Microsoft apparently settled upon an assistant role via the Your Phone app. Eventually, Microsoft hopes that Your Phone will evolve into something even bigger, so it’s worth checking out.

The idea behind Your Phone is focus: Pulling out your phone is an unnecessary distraction within Windows’ world. Microsoft feels a text should be processed in the same way as an email, as a quick interaction that can be dealt with and then set aside. 

It also doubles as a gateway of sorts for other Microsoft apps for your phone. You’ll find a sidebar that encourages you to download apps like the Swiftkey keyboard, Microsoft News, and older apps like Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile and Wordament. None of these are necessary to allow Your Phone to function, though. 

How to set up Your Phone

To use Your Phone, you’ll first need the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which bundles the Your Phone app along with it. Note that Your Phone is actually two apps: the Your Phone app on Windows, and the Your Phone Companion app for Android. Ensure that your phone and PC are on the same Wi-Fi network, as well as connected via Bluetooth, too.

On Windows, the Your Phone app should be immediately apparent. In beta builds leading up to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a shortcut to the Your Phone app appeared on your PC’s desktop, and it seems to appear post-release as well.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Setting up Your Phone may require you sending a link to your phone to download the Your Phone Companion app.

The Your Phone Companion for Android can either be downloaded via the link, or you can enter your phone number into the Your Phone app. Microsoft will send a text to your phone with the download link inside of it.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Your Phone Companion app for iOS. My colleague Brad Chacos said that Your Phone reported that Apple’s iOS could only send webpage URLs from the phone to Windows.

Note, too, that the Your Phone Companion app is different from the apparently defunct Phone Companion app that originally launched with Windows 10. But there is a Photos Companion app for iOS, authored by Microsoft, that allows you to send photos from your iPhone to Windows. Yes, this is horribly confusing—which is why we’re focusing only on the Android app.

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