The way in which your Windows PC interacts with your Android phone is slightly changing, as of today. The Your Phone app will now be renamed Phone Link and it will come with a slight redesign that makes notifications more prominent.
The Windows Phone Link/Your Phone app has been around for years, allowing you to quickly interact with your phone from your PC’s interface. We’ve explained how to use Your Phone as part of an earlier tutorial, but the reasons are simple. If you don’t want to haul out your phone — during a meeting, say — but want to send a quick text, you can do so. Your Phone has been previously beefed up with numerous features such as accessing photos and even apps.
Microsoft said Thursday that it’s going to redesign the app interface, bringing it more in line with the Windows 11 look and feel, and also emphasizing the tabbed interface. It appears, too, that it will highlight your phone’s notifications within the redesigned Phone Link interface, giving them their own dedicated space on the left-hand portion of the app itself.
You’ll find an additional change within the Android app itself, too. That app, currently named Your Phone Companion, is being renamed to Link to Windows.
Microsoft has always maintained a sort of caste system within the Your Phone/Phone Link experience. The Surface Duo lineup and many of Samsung’s Galaxy phones can take advantage of a feature that allows you to access your phone’s apps on your Windows PC. Other Android phones, such as those made by Motorola, for example, do not. Today, the company is adding another preferred partner to its list: Honor, whose Honor Magic V, Magic 4, and Magic 3 series will now get the benefit from these improved experiences.
With Android apps arriving on the PC, the significance of this additional functionality has lessened a bit. We’d still recommend that you install Phone Link if you own an Android phone. If you haven’t, we don’t need to remind you. Microsoft also said that it will be suggesting that you install it as part of the Out of the Box Experience (OOBE), which is when you set up a new PC.
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Author: Mark Hachman, Senior Editor
As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.