Windows 10 Supports Android Linking In Latest Preview Build

Windows 10 now supports Android linking in the latest preview build for Windows Insiders, allowing you to connect your Android smartphone or tablet up to your PC running on this version of the Windows 10 software to sync data. More specifically, the new phone link feature is aimed strictly at allowing you to pick up your browsing experience on the desktop or laptop when it may have been started on your Android device. This isn't an entirely new concept, in fact this capability has been around for a while for Chrome users. The thing is this isn't geared towards the Chrome browser, as it was designed to allow your web experience from whatever browser you use on your mobile device to show up on your Windows 10 PC with any other browser besides Chrome.

Microsoft is referring to this as Cross-Device-Web-Browsing, which is just a shorter and more technical way of saying continuing your browsing experience on the PC. For users that are running the latest preview build of Windows 10, which is build 16251, there is a bit of an involved process for getting things to work, at least initially, as once you configure everything the first time around the process remains simple and straightforward after that.

To start, users will need to go into the settings on their desktop or laptop and click on the new "phone" icon, which should be sitting right between Devices, and Network & Internet. Clicking on this will allow you to initiate the link between your PC and smartphone. Next, users will need to install a test application called Microsoft Apps, a link for which is sent out to users through a text message, and once installed users will see "continue on PC" as an option when sharing any web page. That's pretty much it. Continuing the experience on a PC is as simple as sharing a page with someone through a social media app, though there are a couple of enhancements that are included. Whenever you share something through this new capability, there will be options for users to continue the experience immediately, which will open up the browser on the PC to the page you shared, or continue the experience later, which sends the link to the Action Center (that little Chat bubble-shaped icon that sits in the corner of your task bar which shows all of your notifications) for viewing later on when you're ready or have time. Microsoft states that for now, the phone link for this preview build is strictly focused on the web browsing experience. It doesn't mention anything about adding other features to the link option, but using the words "focused on" might suggest that in a later preview build Microsoft will add more functionality for what's shared between the connected Android phone and PC, like SMS messages for example, something which is due to come to Chromebooks soon.

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Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.