Microsoft Moves Your Phone Back to Windows Insider Builds

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Mistakes happen. Sometimes you throw something recyclable in the garbage, forget to use your turn signal, or publicly release an upcoming app to pretty much every Windows 10 user that wasn't quite ready for prime time. Alright, maybe that last one doesn't apply to you, but that's what Microsoft did when it briefly launched the Your Phone app to most Windows 10 users.

Your Phone was announced at the Build conference in May as a new way to keep your smartphone and PC in sync. Microsoft said the app would let you access recent photos and view notifications from your phone right on your desktop. The upcoming Timeline utility would also let you pick up where you left off when you switch devices, effectively making it Microsoft's answer to the Handoff feature Apple built in to its products.

Microsoft released Your Phone to Windows Insider Program members on August 6. The app was pretty bare-bones: Android smartphone owners could access their recent photos, and iPhone owners were able to ""surf the web on your phone, then send the webpage instantly to your computer to pick up where you left off to continue what you’re doing–read, watch, or browse with all the benefits of a bigger screen." That was it.

Yet the app was made available to Windows 10 users with the April 2018 Update on August 14. Microsoft Mobility's head of program management, Vishnu Nath, said just a day later that Your Phone wasn't meant for public consumption. "#YourPhone folks on 1803, we aren't quite ready for you yet," Nath tweeted. "We will be back once we are! For now we would love your feedback on WIP." The cat was put back into the bag.

Well... kind of. MSPowerUser reported that people who don't participate in the Windows Insider Program and have already set up Your Phone will still be able to use it. They aren't likely to be able to use the inevitable updates that bring Your Phone more in line with the promises Microsoft made in May, but if they really want to use the limited version of the app that's currently available, they should be able to continue to do so.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.