New with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft's Your Phone app allows you to send and receive text messages from your phone or access all of its photos right from your desktop. A variety of third-party apps, from Samsung's Side Sync to Pushbullet, have offered this kind of functionality before, but having it built by the operating system vendor is a huge convenience.
Here's how to setup and use the Your Phone app.
Before you start, make sure that your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and your computer has an Internet connection. Based on our tests, we believe that they don't need to be connected to the same network.
1. Install the Your Phone Windows app from the Microsoft Store and launch it. Just type "Your Phone," into the Cortana search box and clicking on the result that appears. If it's not already installed, it will launch. If not, you'll be transported to the store where you click the download button.
2. Click "Get Started."
3. Click "Sign in with Microsoft" and enter your account credentials.
4. Click "Link Phone."
5. Enter your phone number and click Send.
Microsoft will send an SMS message to your phone with a link to download the Your Phone Companion app from Google Play.
6. Download and install Your Phone Companion on your handset, unless you already have it installed.
7. Check "My PC is ready" and click "Connect my PC"
8. Click Sign in with Microsoft and enter your credentials. Then click Continue after you sign in.
9. Click Continue and then click Allow at the various permission prompts (we got four prompts).
10. Click Done.
Using the Your Phone App in Windows
Make sure that your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network (a 4G connection won't work) and that your desktop or laptop has some kind of Internet connection.
To view and send SMS messages, click Messages in the left pane. You can click "New Message" to initiate a new thread or click on one of your existing threads to keep the conversation going. During our testing, there was no way to delete messages from within the app.
To view the pictures on the phone, click the Photos tab. You can copy an individual picture to your clipboard by right clicking it and selecting copy or share it by selecting Share. In our tests, only the most recent week's worth of photos were visible.
At publication time, the app lacked some important features such as the ability to view more than week's worth of photos and the capability to delete messages or pictures. Hopefully, a future update will add more functionality.