Being able to sync your smartphone's notifications, photos, and text messages directly to your PC is an incredibly useful feature made possible by Microsoft's Your Phone app for Windows 10. The app itself has been around for quite a while now but was only recently shoved into the limelight with the launch of the Galaxy Note 10. For the first time, the Your Phone service is now natively integrated with Samsung's flagship smartphone, and likely more Samsung smartphones in the future.
This is a massive win for Your Phone as now Microsoft no longer has to rely on users to manually discover, download, and install Your Phone onto their smartphones before use. The service is now integrated into those phones, meaning the user now has two areas of discovery. Microsoft has taken this opportunity to improve the Your Phone experience specifically for the Galaxy Note 10, with better performance and screen mirroring functionality on any Windows 10 PC.
I've seen quite a few people online say that there's no difference between Your Phone on the Galaxy Note 10 compared to if you installed the service manually on a non-Samsung smartphone. I'm here to tell you those people are wrong. Your Phone is much improved when paired with a Galaxy Note 10, as the faster syncing and overall performance increase makes a huge difference to the user experience.
Better for one, worse for the other
The problem with this is that it makes other Android smartphones seem like they are getting a lesser experience when it comes to Your Phone because these improvements are exclusive to the Galaxy Note 10 for now. For example, Your Phone, when paired with my Pixel 3 XL, worked for the most part, but it wasn't always reliable. It was slower to sync, and features like screen mirroring didn't work because the list of smartphones that support that feature is limited to either OnePlus or Samsung.
Even if the Pixel 3 XL were supported, the screen mirroring function would only work on a selection of Surface hardware. The feature doesn't yet work on non-Surface hardware unless it's paired with a Galaxy Note 10 as Microsoft is using Wi-Fi Direct there, compared to the other smartphones that rely on the PC supporting updated drivers with Bluetooth LE. All of this means very few people can take advantage of screen mirroring at this time, which sucks.
To be fair to Microsoft, the screen mirroring feature is still labeled as a preview, so its limited list of supported devices is excusable for now. We just have to hope that Microsoft is planning to roll out these improved Your Phone capabilities to more than the Galaxy Note 10, and more than Samsung, OnePlus, and Surface hardware as a whole in the future. If not, then Your Phone's usefulness will remain in an incredibly small scope, basically remaining exclusive to Samsung devices.
The Microsoft and Samsung partnership should not mean that other smartphones get a lesser Your Phone experience. Microsoft hasn't yet announced if the improvements to Your Phone with the Galaxy Note 10 will be coming to other non-Samsung smartphones again, but I think it's a fair assumption that for now, these improvements will be exclusive to Samsung.
What are your thoughts on the improvements to Your Phone with the Galaxy Note 10? Let us know in the comments.
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