Microsoft has this fun little app called Your Phone on Windows 10; it connects your computer (desktop/laptop/Surface) with your phone and adds some functionality that comes in handy. While I have it on both my school laptop and home desktop, it’s on the the home desktop that I use most of the options.

When you have the Your Phone app up & running, you can:

  1. Send & receive texts – including text, emojis, pictures & gifs
  2. See, copy & save all the photos you take on your phone
  3. See all the notifications from your phone (customizable in case you don’t want some to pop-up… I don’t allow any notifications on my school laptop).
  4. *NEW* make & receive phone calls from your computer (literally today on my device, though it’s rolling out slowly).
  5. And it shows your battery level 🙂

Start by making sure you have the app installed on Windows10 — it’s available from the Microsoft Store here: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NMPJ99VJBWV (it’s free). The first time you run it, you’ll need to log in to your Microsoft Account (if you don’t have one, you can “attach” a Microsoft Account identity to your regular email by clicking here — so your Gmail address can also carry with it Microsoft Account status!) and it will text your phone to do the install on that side.

Once the two devices start talking to one another, you can start seeing some of the conveniences — the first is image sync. When I’m working in the classroom, it usually has my images synced before I walk back to my laptop. I can then easily project the image or pop it into OneNote. I can right-click the picture and Copy/Share/Save or double-click it to open larger, and from there open it in Photos (or whatever your default image editor is).

The texting portion is most convenient at home. I live in a 3-story townhouse and my phone is seldom co-located with me 🙂 So when I’m working on the desktop, I will get a pop-up notification of a text, flip over to Your Phone and be able to read the entire message and, using the computer keyboard, type a reply — as well as adding emojis, gifs and images.

It is *really* handy to have the full keyboard available — my texting recipients have noticed how quickly I can type long responses having access to the keyboard.

When you go into Settings (under the Gear ⚙ icon) you have a fair bit of control over what shows up. As I mentioned, I turn most everything off on my school laptop — I don’t need to project to my students my Mom’s Facebook message to me! — but at home it’s all turned on.

I haven’t used the Call feature yet; to be honest, I don’t get or receive a lot of calls! The one caveat I’ve seen is that it’s just coming out of release so it will occasionally drop calls but is expected to improve rapidly.

Now, all my experience with Your Phone has been on Android — iPhone has similar functionality but the steps & permissioning may be different. Let me know what you experience!

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