At last! A solution for those unable to wrench their gaze from Windows 10... Er, it's Your Phone
No, not your phone. It's 2019, for heaven's sake. The app
Windows Insiders struggling to keep up with the flood of builds were given something new to play with last night.
Lucky members of the Fast Ring received build 18356, which, as is the norm this close to release, featured an ever-shrinking list of fixes and known issues.
While the Windows team managed to fix a
KERNEL_SECURITY_VIOLATION error that caused a Green Screen of Death (GSOD), that pesky anti-cheat software issue is proving a challenging bug to squash. The gang is also still struggling to deal with problems that have dogged 19H1 with Creative X-Fi sound cards and Realtek SD card readers.
However, to liven things up, the team also emitted an early preview of a long-promised feature for the Your Phone app – Android phone mirroring, which, as the name suggests, mirrors the screen of one's Android phone onto the Windows 10 desktop via the Your Phone app.
The Your Phone app debuted at Microsoft's Build 2018 conference, promising messaging, notification and photo access from iOS and Android devices for Windows 10 users. A limited version of the app found its way into the hands of users later in the year, and over subsequent months gained functionality such as the promised SMS integration.
For Android 7 and above users, of course. iOS, not so much.
The mirroring of an Android phone was trailed at the Surface launch event last October and the code, in preview form at least, is finally here. Those users that fall into the Venn region of 19H1 Windows Insiders with the correct PC hardware and a supported phone need only fire up Your Phone to poke at apps that would normally require extracting the device from a pocket.
Or, if you're anything like us, it will save you from, er, glancing at the phone usually sat on the desk, sipping power from a handy USB.
While the store version of Your Phone supports any phone running Android 7 or above, the preview will only work with Samsung S8/+ and S9/+. You will also need to be running a PC with Bluetooth radio that supports low energy peripheral role.
Microsoft helpfully supplies a guide to check for this, although we'd add the reminder that the Details property dropdown is not alphabetically sorted.
If you're a Surface user, but not using the Go, you will be out of luck for the time being.
As will iPhone users, who sadly continue to remain excluded from much of the Your Phone party. ®