Another day, another Insider Preview Build announcement? No, no yawns from takers; Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring are in for this; the latest announcement is all about the phone-PC sync treat coming their way and the rest of us are pondering how this will make any difference in our digital lives.
Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17728 to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. This brings in a phone app for Windows Insiders who are working with an Android device, although the announcement is not exclusively geared for Android. There is some news for iPhone users as well.
What's the big deal?
"This is an important build as it gives us our real first glimpse on how Microsoft is going to integrate the Windows 10 Your Phone app with your mobile devices," said Lawrence Abrams, creator of BleepingComputer.com
What's new, 17728? OK, three words. Phone, phone and phone. Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc said, "we're bringing the first set of features to Your Phone app for Windows Insiders with an Android device." Rob Thubron in TechSpot translated further: "Microsoft says it will soon start testing the Your Phone app in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17728 (Redstone 5)."
Easiest way to picture the desired outcomes: Snap a picture with your Android device. Caught on your PC. That middle task of having to email yourself would go away; the sync to your PC is automatic.
It is a favorable daily gain when you think of project scenarios such as a wish to add a good find of a photo for your presentation, or for creatives focused on assorted visuals. "Just drag and drop," they said.
(Thubron commented in TechSpot that one would be able to drag and drop photos and files from the handset into, say, a desktop app such as PowerPoint.)
Text message synchronizations and notifications are being added later," he added.
Similarly, Windows Central told its readers that "Microsoft makes no mention of being able to send and receives texts, or see your phones notifications using Your Phone in the initial preview, which probably means we shouldn't expect to see those features show up anytime soon."
In the coming weeks, Android users could expert a rollout where they can be taken directly to the phone app via desktop pin for quicker access to phone content. So you download the app from Microsoft to the mobile phone and follow setup prompts.
Peter Bright in Ars Technica said the Android app will be requiring Android 7.0 or better.
What if your handset of choice is an iPhone? Well, iPhone users get some functionality.
Shane McGlaun in HotHardware:
"You can surf the web on your phone and send the webpage to your computer." BleepingComputer likewise reported that "For iOS users, you can use the Your Phone app to transfer web pages that you are reading on your iPhone or iPad and transfer them to your PC where you can continue reading them."
Thubron said the app, which is supported on handsets running Android, will eventually arrive for iPhone users. If in that instance, "functionality will be limited to sharing web pages between mobile device and PC."
Peter Bright, meanwhile brought readers up to date on the history behind this announcement. Phone companion app talk is nothing new, but making it for real as an insider build item is.
"Back at its Build conference in May, Microsoft showed Your Phone, a Windows 10 app (with companion apps on Android and iOS) that helped bridge between the smartphone world and the PC world. The company showed syncing of photos, SMS messages, and notifications between the phone and the PC, hoping to put an end to time-honored traditions such as e-mailing yourself a picture you took on your phone just so you can use it on your computer. The latest Insider Preview build of this autumn's Windows 10 update, released yesterday, finally enables this syncing."