At Build 2017, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “The user experience is going to span all of your devices. That multi-device experience is what now needs platform capability.”
A big part of this is connecting your smartphone to your PC. Not only does this let you seamlessly move from web browsing on the phone to the Windows 10 PC, but it also enables the Cloud Clipboard, which will let you copy from one device and paste to another.
Since Windows 10 is considered a service rather than a set software products, more cross-device capabilities will be added on the fly. The first to appear is Continue On PC. How does it work? Simple. You’re browsing on your smartphone—on any browser and on either Android or iOS—and you just send the current page to your Windows 10 PC, where it opens automatically to that same page.
Continue on PC is just a taste of the multi-device cloud services promised by what Redmond terms the Microsoft Graph, which EVP for Windows and Devices Terry Myerson describes as “…an intelligent fabric that helps connect dots between people, conversations, projects, and content within the Microsoft Cloud–ensuring experiences flow seamlessly between Windows, iOS, and Android devices.”
1. Start at Settings
2. Phone Settings in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Here’s the Phone settings dialog. Note that you’ll be able to continue more than just browsing from phone to PC. In particular, email and other apps will also be able to make the jump from phone to PC. To get going, click on the Add Phone button. Of course, before you can do that, your PC needs to be signed into a Microsoft account.
3. Link Your Phone
The add phone dialog, as you might expect, asks for your smartphone number. Fear not, though, the number isn’t saved and is just used to send you an SMS with a link.
4. SMS Message
Here’s how the message sent to my iPhone looked, before and after previewing the iTunes App Store entry.
5. Continue on PC App
Connect to PC is the app that makes it all happen. A four-screen tutorial shows you how to complete setup.
6. Add to Share Sheet
Open the Share sheet from any app, press the More … button. Then find Continue on PC and slide its slider so that it’s green.
7. Sign In
When you first try to share to Continue on PC, you see this page for signing into the same Microsoft account that you use with your PC. You’ll only have to do this once.
Now you can send the current web page (or other app) to the linked PC. Note that you get a choice to open the item immediately or to send a notification to the PC’s Action Center. A lot of apps don’t work with Continue on PC, including Apple native apps like Photos. But any browser works, as do the Flickr and the Soundcloud apps, for example.
It’s pretty cool to launch something remotely from your phone on your PC!