What is Microsoft Your Phone and how do you use it?

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With the death of Windows Phone behind it, Microsoft has put an added focus on integrating Android and iPhones with Windows. The Your Phone app is one of the best examples of this integration. Unfortunately, Your Phone does not fully mirror your Android phone on your computer — if that’s what you were hoping for.

Your Phone is, for all intents and purposes, a way to sync photos and text messages from your phone with your Windows computer. For many of us who bounce back and forth between computer and phone this is a very exciting prospect.

However, it comes with some major limitations, such as only providing access to the last 25 photos and 15 messages on your phone. Most likely being limited to your last 15 conversations won’t be much of a hindrance, but only having the last 25 photos accessible is a big drawback. It is also not possible to connect to multiple PCs simultaneously.

How to set up Your Phone

In order to set up Your Phone it requires a Windows PC running Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Version 1803) or later. You must also have an Android phone running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later.

Next, you’ll need to download the Your Phone app to both your Windows PC and your Android phone. If you download the app to your computer first, it will provide you with an option to text a link to the app on your phone. You can also use the links I’ve provided below to each respective app.

Your Phone PC Your Phone Android

Once both of these apps are installed you will be prompted to sign in to your Microsoft account on your phone that is associated with your PC. Then, you’ll have to give access to the app permissions. After that, you’ll be asked to give permission to ignore battery optimizations. You should now be synced with the Your Phone app on your PC and ready to go.

Both Your Phone apps are extremely simple and mostly devoid of options. The Android app does try its best to advertise other Microsoft owned apps though.

How well does it work?

If all you want to do is view the last 25 photos or screenshots on your phone, reply to SMS messages, or compose text messages it works rather well. Syncing is fairly fast with both photos and SMS messages.

When composing a new text message, it allows you to search the contacts stored on your phone. However, it does not provide contact photos or identify which number is the person’s cellphone number.

That can be a little confusing if you’re trying to text someone with multiple numbers and you never memorized which is their cellphone. Another downside is the lack of picture messaging. You will not be able to send or receive pictures or gifs with the Your Phone app.

Viewing and editing photos is quick and easy. Photos will open in the Photos app on your Windows computer with options to share, print, or edit. The option to delete is grayed out ensuring you will never accidentally trash any photos on your phone.

Editing works just as it would with any other photo stored on your PC, but it will require you to save a copy to your computer after editing and does not sync a copy to your phone.

Final Thoughts

If you do a lot of texting during the day, this is a real time saver as you do not have to swap back and forth between computer and phone. If you’re also looking for quick wireless access to your most recent photos the Your Phone app is also very useful.

However, if you’re like me and wanted full mirroring, access to all of your messengers, and the ability to access all of your photos, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

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