Updated, 3/13/19, 5:20am PT: Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18356 to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program. The new build's headlining feature is the addition of Android screen mirroring to the Your Phone app, which "will gradually roll out to Insiders on 19H1 builds." (Which means it's not yet rolling out to Skip Ahead members of the program, who are testing Windows 10 20H1.)
Original article, 2/12/19, 9:28am PT:
It's weird how often we end up staring at our phones while sitting in front of our computers. That's why Apple and Microsoft have introduced Handoff and Your Phone, respectively, along with other utilities that promise to bridge the two devices. Then last week a Twitter user discovered that Microsoft could be close to bringing true Android smartphone mirroring to Windows 10.
Microsoft announced in October 2018 that it was planning to bring Android app mirroring to its Your Phone app for Windows 10. That functionality has yet to manifest, but on March 8, Twitter user Ajith posted what he claimed were screenshots of Your Phone with "Screen mirroring & Notifications" features. If the photos are legit, both of those features could arrive sooner than later.
The idea, at least as it's presented in these screenshots, is simple. "Bring your phone’s screen to the Your Phone app and control all your apps from your PC," a message reads. "You can use your mouse and keyboard to help you interact." One would certainly hope so. Not everyone has a touchscreen monitor for their PC, and merely viewing a phone's display wouldn't be particularly useful.
Ajith's screenshots also show a notification mirroring system that's separate from the one already available via Cortana. This system would apparently be restricted to the Your Phone app: the screenshot said that it's "trying out a new feature and would love your feedback." It also explained how the system would work:
- Notifications will only be shown here and now through Windows notifications
- The apps you get notifications from will be based on your current Android settings
- If you dismiss a notification on your phone it will be removed from the list on your PC
All of those decisions make sense--who'd want to manage their notifications twice, once on their phone and once on their PC, every time they need to clear 'em out? The notification feature might actually be more useful than the screen mirroring. We don't know about you, but most of the time we check our phones because we got a notification, not because we like using two devices.
There's no telling when Microsoft plans to introduce these features. They'll likely reach members of the Windows Insider Program first, though, so ordinary Windows 10 users should have some advance notice of Your Phone receiving these updates.