How to Sync Your Phone With Windows 10

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.”

Read through the slides to see how you get started with this new world of interconnection. The process is basically identical on Android phones, though I used an iPhone to test the process.


1. Start at Settings

Starting with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the Settings app gets a new Phone section. Begin by opening the Settings app and clicking on this icon.

 

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2. Phone Settings in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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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

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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

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Here’s how the message sent to my iPhone looked, before and after previewing the iTunes App Store entry.


5. Continue on PC App

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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

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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

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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.


 8. Send!

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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.



9. Ta-Da!

It’s pretty cool to launch something remotely from your phone on your PC!

How to scan QR codes from your iPhone or iPad

QR codes can be used for a lot of things – website links, coupons, tickets, and contact information, just to name a few – and scanning them using your iPhone or iPad couldn’t be easier.

Apple has built QR Code recognition into its camera app, which means all you need to do is open it up and point it at the code in question.

You’ll then get a notification appear on screen, promoting you to action the link the QR code points to – a quick tap on this and you’ll be taken to the desired location, usually within the Safari web browser.

How to scan a QR code on iPhone and iPad

Step one: Open up the camera app on your iPhone or iPad

Step two: Hold the device’s camera up to the QR code

Step three: No need to hit the shutter button, your iOS device will automatically recognize the QR code and provide you with an on-screen notification. (Make sure you have mobile signal or you’re connected to Wi-Fi.)

 Step four: Tap the notification to be taken to the destination of the QR code.

Wallet app can scan QR codes on iPhone and iPad

There’s also a built-in QR reader in the Wallet app on iPhone and iPod. To access the scanner, open the app, click on the plus button at the top of the “Passes” section, then tap on Scan Code to Add a Pass.

From here, you can scan QR codes for coupons, boarding passes, tickets, and loyalty cards, but only for the specific things that Wallet considers “passes.”

If you try to scan any other QR code, you’ll get an error message.

If you don’t fancy either of the above two methods, you can also head to the App Store where you’ll find a wide selection of free QR code reading applications.