Android apps on Windows 10: Microsoft begins rollout of update

WindowsAndroid  w630 - Android apps on Windows 10: Microsoft begins rollout of update

Microsoft has announced the "gradual" rollout of a new update to its "Your Phone" app, which will allow users of all Android phones to stream their mobile apps, like WhatsApp, in a separate window on PCs equipped with Windows 10.

Microsoft first demonstrated the new capabilities of the Your Phone app at the Samsung "Unpacked" conference on August 5th. This new feature allows Windows 10 users with select Android phones to interact with their mobile apps on their Windows 10 PCs in separate windows, outside of the Your Phone app.

Android apps on PC

The feature arrived in Windows Insider build 20185, for Dev Ring users. But starting this week, it should be available for all PCs running Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809 or later.

The new feature of Your Phone app will allow users to efficiently use Android phone mobile apps from Windows 10 PC. Windows 10 users will be able to pin their favorite mobile apps to the taskbar or from the PC Start menu. When they launch an application, it will open in a separate window.

"So whether you need to quickly respond to a conversation, interact with your social media posts, or order food, you can do it quickly using your PC's big screen, keyboard, mouse. , your pen and touchscreen along with your other PC applications, ”says Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager on the Windows Insider team.

Gradual deployment

While the new feature is available to everyone, only Samsung Galaxy phones – S and A series – are currently supported.

“This is a gradual roll-out, so it may take a few days for the applications to appear in the Your Phone application,” warns Brandon LeBlanc.

To be able to use the function of streaming Android applications to Windows 10, the device must be equipped with Android 9 – or later – and have the integration of links to Windows. Additionally, the Android device and Windows 10 PC will need to use the same Wi-Fi connection.

Add Android apps to the Windows Start menu

The new functionality will notably allow users to see the Android applications installed through the Your Phone application, to add the most used applications to favorites and to launch mobile applications directly on the PC.

Microsoft also presented some notes on the behavior of input devices – like the keyboard and mouse – in terms of interacting with Android apps that stream to a PC. For example, a single click should work as if it were a normal app running Windows 10.

To add an Android application to the Windows Start menu, users will need to open the Your Phone application, go to "Applications" and then right click on the desired application icon, to then be able to pin it to favorites, on the desktop.

Two years of work

The Your Phone app in its current state is the culmination of more than two years of work undertaken by Microsoft to merge the functionality of Android phones and Windows 10 PCs to a level similar to that of Apple's macOS and iOS devices.

However, there are notable limitations. To get started, users need to connect the Android device to a PC through the Your Phone app. Then, it is only possible to open one Android app at a time, because the Your Phone app mirrors the screen of the Android device and the app open on it. Opening another application replaces the one that is open.

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The Your Phone app allows users to use Android phone mobile apps from a Windows 10 PC. Image: Microsoft.


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