When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 20 last month, it unveiled a new feature that is one of the fruits of its closer partnership with Microsoft. Your phone, which is Microsoft’s bridge to the Android world, would allow individual Android applications to be launched in their own windows. This exclusivity period for the Galaxy Note 20 is over and the Apps feature is now being rolled out to more Android phones, as long as these phones are made by Samsung.
The poorly named Your Phone app for Windows 10 now supports three ways to use your Android phone from your Windows PC. The Basic Link for Windows allows you to drag and drop files between your computer and your phone, while the phone’s screen allows you to mirror the Android screen and do anything from it.
What the new Apps feature offers is a perfect way to run Android apps on your phone and make them behave like a Windows app, in its own window and taskbar entry. You can even pin apps to the taskbar. The only limitation, which Microsoft promises to be fixed soon, is that you can only run one application at a time.
Microsoft is now announcing that this Apps feature is being released more widely for Android phones, but comments are drawing attention to the somewhat misleading announcement. The truth is that all these sophisticated features of Your Phone support only Samsung Galaxy phones and nothing else (with the exception of Microsoft’s Surface Duo).
For Samsung phone owners, who are admittedly a big chunk of the global cell phone market, these features definitely come as an advantage for maintaining the brand. Samsung, however, is not the only manufacturer of Android phones, and Microsoft has yet to publicly commit to taking these same experiences to other brands in the future.