You’ll soon have access to your phone’s apps on your PC — if you have the right phone, at least. Microsoft is rolling out a Windows 10 Your Phone update with support for running mobile apps on your desktop, as promised when Samsung revealed the Galaxy Note 20. You won’t have to reach for your handset just to check on a mobile-only social network or order lunch from a delivery app.
Apps run in separate windows to allow for multitasking, and you can pin them to your Start menu or Taskbar if you use them often enough. You can use a mouse, keyboard and touch to interact.
As hinted earlier, though, you can’t just use this with any device. In addition to using the latest Your Phone software on your Windows 10 system, you’ll need a phone with the latest Link to Windows integration — and for now, that means a Samsung phone running Android 9.0 (Pie) or later. The computer and phone need to be on the same WiFi network, so this won’t be an option for checking the device you forgot at home.
Even so, this is a big step up from phone screen mirroring. You don’t have to handle everything a single window, or wade through your phone’s OS just to launch a favorite app. It’s not the seamless union of desktop and mobile that Microsoft envisioned with Continuum, but it’s considerably closer.