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Microsoft Windows Rolls Out Android Remote Control for Windows 10

Microsoft added several improvements and features to the Your Phone app with the rollout of Windows 10 20H1 Build 18932 to Insiders in the Fast ring, the addition of remote control for Android devices from touch-enabled PCs being the highlight of the release.

"You will now be able to interact with your phone screen using one-touch tap and long press. This handy feature will allow you to conveniently open apps, select items, click on links, and more, directly on your touch-enabled PC," says Microsoft in the Insider Preview Build 18932 announcement.

Microsoft also hints at the new remote control feature being usable on PCs without a touchscreen with the help of a mouse in a known issue stating that "Some games and apps do not support mouse interactions and won’t recognize touch interactions from the PC either.

This new feature was initially enabled for Windows Insiders using the touch tap and tap and hold for phone screen on Surface Go or other touch-capable PCs on June 21.

Phone screen notifications integration

The Phone Screen mirroring feature introduced earlier this year with the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18356 (19H1) to Insiders in March allows Your Phone users to mirror their Android devices' screens on a Windows 10 PC.

With this update, Phone Screen adds notifications integration for all Insiders running a May 2019 release or newer on their Windows computers, allowing them to interact with the notifications using their mouse and keyboard.

"If Phone screen is not supported or set up, clicking on notifications will take you to your notifications feed instead," says Microsoft, with the added note that "text message notifications (SMS, MMS) will continue to be available within the messaging node."

The new feature is currently rolling out to all Windows 10 users with April 2018 update and newer and, as detailed by Redmond, it could take several days until it lands on all devices running the Your Phone app.

Windows 10 users can also get all Android phone notifications right on their PCs, as well as triage them as needed from their computer's desktop and choose which ones they want to see, another Your Phone feature that's currently rolling out as detailed yesterday by Mobile eXperiences Director Vishnu Nath and Lead Program Manager Roberto Bojorquez.

Previous Your Phone app updates

During May, Microsoft also added syncing over mobile data making it possible for Windows Insiders to sync messages, notifications, and photos to their PCs without having to connect to a WiFi network, as well as support for replying to text messages directly and inline from notifications displayed on PCs.

Further back, in April, Phone to PC notifications syncing with per-application configuration capabilities was also rolled out to allow for notifications management without having to reach out for the phone, together with notification dismissal capability with automatic dismissal on the Android phones and vice-versa.

Currently known issues in the Your Phone app:

  • Touch gestures (e.g. swipe, flick or pinch) won’t work

  • Touch will behave as mouse, so trying to drag to scroll in some apps may behave differently and select text instead of scrolling

  • Some games and apps do not support mouse interactions and won’t recognize touch interactions from the PC either

  • Always on display will not be shown on the phone screen displayed on the PC

  • Blue light preferences will not be applied on the phone screen displayed on the PC

  • Other audio besides screen reader feedback will play out of the phone speakers, not the PC

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