As you might know, Microsoft is currently working on the next generation of Windows. With this new Windows Microsoft is trying to bring a seamless experience to all devices which are used with this version of Windows. Therefor the operating system now has the same core on all platforms and there is the possibility to develop Universal Apps for Windows which are looking nearly the same on all screen sizes and platforms. Like we can currently test it with the Office Universal Apps on the current Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview. Overall Microsoft is trying to bring the most practical experience with Windows 10 to fit the needs of all users. Microsoft is bringing Windows 10 not only for Desktop devices and Tablets but also for Phones. Windows 10 Mobile will have the same Core like Windows 10 and will have the same App Store.
Phone Companion App
However, Microsoft believes that it is not only important for Windows Phone users to have a great experience with letting Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices working together but they are also supporting iOS and Android device in a better way with the upcoming operating system. They think ‘everything important to you should roam across the products you already own’ and that’s good. Therefor they have announced the Phone Companion app for Windows 10 today. With this app it does not matter whether you are using a Windows Phone, iOS or Android device, it will just perfectly work together with your Windows 10 machine.
If you start the Phone Companion app you have to conncet your Phone. As soon as you have done this you can choose which phone you are currently using. That means you can choose whether you are using a Windows Phone, an iOS or Android device. If you choose Windows Phone you won’t have to make any further decisions or set anything up. This is a different story if you are using an Android or iOS device. Then the Phone Companion App will guid you through some steps to set up the app to provide you the best experience possible.
Here are some things which can be set up and will then be available on your Windows 10 PC and your Phone:
With the OneDrive app setup correctly on your phone, every photo you take on your phone will show up automatically in the Photos app on your Windows 10 PC.
- Stream Music from OneDrive:
With the latest upcoming version of the Music app, you’ll be able to store and access your music from OneDrive not only on your PC but now also play it anywhere, for free, on your iOS or Android phone (this already works on Windows phones). This means the music playlists you spend hours putting together on your Windows 10 PC will now show up and be playable on your phone, automatically.
- OneNote Sync:
Take a note wherever you are—notes you write on your PC in OneNote will show up on your phone. And any note you tweak on your phone will get synced to your PC.
- Office Sync:
And you can work on your Office documents from any of your devices, without worrying about moving files around.
Below you can have a look at a video which has been uploaded by Microsoft today, explaining the Phone Companion App in detail. Users of the Windows 10 Insider Preview will be able to test the Phone Companion app soon, since Microsoft will ‘flight out the app in a few weeks’.
Cortana for Android
Windows 10 for Desktops will be released this summer, to be a bit more exact on July 29th, and with Windows 10 a brand new personal assistant will come to the operating system. Of course I am talking about Cortana and those of you who are currently using a Windows Phone probably know what Cortana is capable of. The personal assistant will then be integrated in Project Spartan aka Microsoft Edge, Microsofts latest Browser. And it will also be integrated in the operating system to help you quickly searching for the things you need, reminding you of some calendar appointments or updating you with the latest interests you have set up.
Cortana is already synced up between the current Windows 10 Insider Preview and Windows Phone, however for users who are not using a Windows Phone device as their mobile companion there will be another way to sync stuff between Cortana on Windows 10 and Cortana on an Android or iOS device. This will be possible via a Cortana app. So yes Microsoft is today officially announcing a Cortana App for iOS and Android.
Now, how can you imagine working Cortana on an Android or iOS device? Well basically it will work like on Windows 10 Mobile or Windows 10. It will be possible to set reminders for some important events you are attending to. It will be possible to track flights for example on your PC and then you can have a look at the synced data on across all devices which are running Windows Mobile, Windows, Android or iOS. The whole Notebook from Cortana will be synced across al devices. So that means, it doesn’t matter which device you are currently using, Cortana will remind you to head off to work or to meet with your boss. So this will be the first personal assistant to assist you an all devices you are using. Sure there is Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS but hey more than 90% of people are using Windows worldwide and they may not have their Android or iOS device beside all the time.
On Windows Phone Cortana is of course the default personal assistant and is developed by Microsoft´like the OS itself. This makes it possible to let Cortana access some system files. This is currently not possible on Android or iOS therefor not all features will be integrated in the apps for Android and iOS. For example it will not be possible to start Cortana with Voice commands since this requires rights to change some settings of the Microphone which is not possible. It won’t be possible to change settings or starting apps by voice, these are things which remain exclusive to Windows Phone and that is good.
Below you can have a quick look on all three things which Microsoft has announced today:
- Phone Companion App:
The Phone Companion app on Windows 10 PCs will help you setup a Windows phone, Android Phone, or iPhone to ensure your key Windows experiences—your photos, your music, your docs– move effortlessly wherever you do.
- Stream Music from OneDrive:
The updated Xbox Music app on Android and iPhone will enable free playback of your music files and playlists from OneDrive, so all your music is available wherever you are.
- Cortana Companion App:
A companion Cortana app for Android and iPhone connects the world’s only personal digital assistant from your PC to your phone… right there to buzz you for reminders, answer your questions, and be your personal helper not just on your PC but on your phone, too.
Probably there is one question which has not been answered yet bit where you are keen on hearing the answer. When will those announced services will be available to test. Well it will not take too long until we can get our hands on the first things to test, below you can have a look at a list where are dates are listed.
- Phone Companion App
Will be released in a ‘few weeks’.
- Cortana Companion App
Will be released for Android at the end of June, for iOS later this year.
- Xbox Music App
Will be available in late June or July for Android and iOS to stream music from OneDrive to your mobile device.
So this are quite some things which Microsoft has announced today, and there are some cool things which are ahead. I am looking forward to getting my hands on this stuff especially on the Phone Companion App. What is your favorite of the above mention stuff, drop me a comment below and leave me your opinion. Stay tuned for more information about Windows 10 (Mobile) and upcoming features for Cortana.
Source: Windows Blog