Have you ever wished you had instant access to the latest smartphone photos, notifications, messages and calls right on your Windows PC? You can now view them all using the Your Phone Companion – Link to Windows app.
Your Windows 10 phone makes it easy to transfer files between your PC and mobile devices. In line with Microsoft’s plan to serve all computing platforms, Your Phone Companion works with Windows, Android, and Apple phones. It even works with the iPad.
Microsoft Your Phone Companion is probably the coolest feature that has been added to the Windows operating system for quite some time. The app has many features such as photo sharing, call verification, displaying notifications and much more. But, aside from these usual features, there are plenty of hidden features beneath the surface. For example, ability to synchronize clipboard contents, drag and drop to transfer files, OCR, etc. With that in mind, here are the best hidden features of Microsoft Your Phone Companion, tips and tricks that will come in handy.
Tips and tricks from your phone companion
1. Copy text from photos
Your phone offers the ability to extract text from images, but it is only available in the tab “Posts”. Therefore, to scan a photo, you must first send it as an SMS or RCS message.
However, here’s a quick tip. Your Phone application allows you to send messages from your Windows PC. It can also access photos on your Android device and attach them to messages. To do this, go to the tab posts , and click the Gallery icon at the bottom. Photos stored on your Android device will be displayed. If you want to send an image stored on your computer, click on “Browse this computerat the bottom of the pop-up window.
Once the image is uploaded, you can right click on it and select “Copy text from photo. This will extract the text from the image and copy it to the clipboard. Now head to any text editor or Sticky Notes and paste it.
2. Camera Viewer
Your Phone app supports wireless screen mirroring and you can use this feature to turn your Android device into a CCTV camera. Plus, if you’re shooting with your cell phone, the laptop screen can be turned into a camera screen, which helps set up your frame. However, this mirroring feature is only limited to some Samsung devices like Samsung Note 9, Samsung S10, Samsung A30, etc.
Once you have connected a supported Samsung device, a tab appears for mirroring. Click on it and you will have the choice between “Show phone screen. After that press “Allowon your device and you can see your Samsung phone screen on your Windows PC.
Thus, the mirroring works wirelessly and since it is well integrated in the settings, the latency is minimal. I use my Android device’s rear camera to record selfies and use my laptop as a reference screen for setting up shots. Plus, you can use the phone as a wireless webcam to keep an eye on your baby.
3. Drag and drop images
The traditional way to download photos from Your Phone app on PC is to right-click on the photo and choose “Save as. However, not many people know that it is possible to drag and drop photos from the Your Phone app to your Windows PC. However, this gesture is very limited and does not support multiple files. Also, you can’t drag and drop photos from Windows to the Your Phone app.
If you want to send files from your Windows PC to your Android device, the Your Phone app does not provide a specific option by itself. But, if you have a supported Samsung device, there is a workaround. You can mirror your Samsung phone screen and then drag and drop files from your Windows PC to your Samsung device. It supports transfer of multiple files and any file format.
This feature will only work on Samsung devices.
4. Better Notification Management
Your Phone app can sync all third-party app notifications from your Android device to your Windows PC. But, above all, disable WhatsApp, Google News, Telegram, etc. to avoid distractions. However, sometimes I need to browse some WhatsApp messages on my computer for reference or to access shared links. The best way to manage those Android notifications. Instead of completely disabling notifications, you can turn off “Banner Notifications.
In case you didn’t know, banner notifications are the ones that slide down from the bottom right and sneak up every time with a sound. By turning off Banner Notifications you avoid distractions, but Action Center will still keep a copy of the notification.
To turn off banner notifications, go to Settings in the Your Phone app in Windows and tap “Choose which apps show banner notifications.
The options will open.Notifications and Actionsin the settings menu. For example, I want to disable banner notifications for WhatsApp. Therefore, go to “WhatsApp (via your phone)”.
Then uncheck the box “Show banner notifications“Disable toggle button”Play sound when notification arrives.
Now, when you want to view WhatsApp or Telegram notifications, you can open the Action Center and you will find them all. Additionally, you can also get these notifications in the Your Phone app under the tab “Notices”.
5. Android Battery Percentage
The Your Phone app also lets you see the battery percentage of the connected Android device, but this feature is completely hidden. To see the battery percentage, press Menu After In the top left corner of the Your Phone app. Once the menu is open, hover over the battery icon and you will see the Android battery percentage.
I use it a lot to monitor my Android device while it is charging.
6. Sync Clipboard
The handiest feature of Your Phone is clipboard synchronization between Android and Windows. I usually use this option to copy important chunks of text or web links from my Android device to my Windows PC. To turn it on, go to your phone settings and turn on the toggle next to “Copy and paste across devices.
Once done, the Your Phone app will sync the clipboard between your Android and Windows device. So basically, if you copy text on Android, it will be available to paste on your Windows PC and vice versa.
7. Volume control
With the latest April updates, Microsoft Your Phone now lets you control music playback on your Android phone. It automatically syncs album art, artist and song name. You also have the option to play/pause, skip music. If you use multiple music players, you will have the option to switch between them in the form of a drop-down menu.
Your phone does not support YouTube and Audible.
8. Send GIFs
Your phone lets you send text messages from your Windows PC without touching your Android phone. But the trick is that your phone’s Messages keyboard integrates with Giphy and lets you send GIFs on the go. Just click the GIF icon at the bottom and you’ll have a whole bunch of GIFs. Just don’t spam all your friends, not everyone is a cat lover.
Microsoft recently introduced a lot of features to the Your Phone app, and the collaboration with Samsung makes the feature more integrated into the Android ecosystem. However, I still think it’s not polished against the KDEConnect system or Apple’s ecosystem. There is still no direct option to share files between synced devices. The call function still behaves inaccurately when connected to a Bluetooth headset. These options are just the start. I hope this will be fixed in later variants.
For more issues or questions, let me know in the comments below. Learn more about apps to bridge the gap between Windows and Android phones.