Microsoft adds 'Your Phone' recent apps menu to the System Tray on Windows 11

Your Phone Companion Android
Your Phone Companion Android (Image credit: Windows Central)

Your Phone Recents Flyout

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft introduces new "recent apps" feature for Your Phone.
  • It adds a Your Phone icon to the System Tray for easy access.
  • It's compatible with Samsung phones set up with Your Phone.

Microsoft has today announced an update to the Your Phone app that will introduce quick access to your recently used Android apps directly from the System Tray on Windows 11 and Windows 10. The feature is rolling out in preview to Windows Insiders now, and is compatible with "select Samsung phones."

The integration was unveiled during Samsung's Unpacked event (opens in new tab), and Microsoft has since tweeted about the new feature. It allows the Your Phone app to add itself as an icon to the System Tray, which when clicked will present a mini flyout with three of your most recent apps that you accessed on your phone.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Clicking on any of the apps will fire up the Your Phone "apps" feature which will let you control the app from your desktop while running on your phone. Curiously the feature is apparently exclusive to Samsung devices, which is odd considering the Surface Duo also supports the same "apps" feature in the Your Phone app.

Once we get the update, we'll be sure to check if the Surface Duo is supported. For Samsung devices, it appears all Samsung phones that support the "apps" feature will also be able to access this quick launch panel from the System Tray. Microsoft and Samsung have a mobile partnership which sees tighter integration between Windows and Samsung devices, including Samsung phones running Android and the Your Phone app on Windows.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I still don't like the fact that Samsung can dictate to Microsoft what features are in an app included with Windows. With Your Phone Microsoft should provide the basics, Messages, Phone Calls, Pictures and Contacts, and the phone manufacturers should provide plugins for the phone specific functionality.
  • Good point, it may seem pointless, but IMHO, tis well worth outlining this in a bit more detail, via MS' feedback systems.
  • I expect Microsoft are prioritising Samsung because they're by a country mile more popular. Not sure Samsung are dictating this. Cross platform clipboard for example is Samsung only because Microsoft had to work with Samsung to make this possible. Those basics work on all Android phones btw.
  • I have cross platform copy/paste on my Pixel through SwiftKey. Does it not matter which keyboard you use on Samsungs?
  • Just tickles me that my Pixel doesn't even have the apps functionality on Your Phone (which I really think of as My Phone, but whatever).
  • The Duo (at least mine) doesn't have it either.
  • I think it's Duo 2 only (for now, at least), but would be happier if Zac could confirm or deny this. I certainly don't have the Apps feature on my Duo (screen mirroring is nice, but Apps would be even better, I suspect).
  • Fully agree. Might also just be preview which I'm not running on my main machine.
  • It is an awesome feature with the Duo 2. Best part: you can pin individual apps to Start or Taskbar. Worst part: no single-sign on security bridge, meaning you often have to unlock the phone to access these apps. Fortunately, as long as you haven't restarted the phone, you can unlock the phone by entering the PIN in Windows via the phone screen share. Ideally, you could choose to let a paired phone would accept your Windows sign-on to unlock the phone for Your Phone app and screen sharing.
  • Yeah it is a dumb name.
  • Nice idea but Your Phone is still very buggy and the Android app support is terrible. Besides what's the point now Android apps are coming to Windows 11 anyway? We don't need two ways to access Android apps.
  • Apps work on my Fold 3 but I only have screen mirroring on my Duo 1... Off topic do any of you guys with the Duo or Duo 2 use the Sharepoint app? Can't seem to get the app to work on my Duo... Runs fine on my Fold 3 but I use my Duo for business as it's the best device for this purpose... But need to use Sharepoint...
  • I used SharePoint on my Duo 1 frequently.
    Now I checked and the app doesn't work. Opens for a splitsecond and errors.
    Looks like Android 11 broke it. I know it worked before the upgrade. Weird.
  • Clear the storage for the app and try it again, that usually works if an upgrade breaks apps