Windows, Your Phone and IOS


After WindowsPhone it’s been a time of re-discovering other platforms. I have eventually ended up with an iphone. As an IT Professional I use Windows every day. As a consumer I have a Windows PC but my ecosystem of Microsoft products and services has been shrinking. Mostly I am now an Apple guy. You have to choose.

There are no Bing Maps for IOS so it’s Apple Maps. There is no Microsoft Music, Microsoft Pay or almost anything else. I can get Edge on both so bookmarks work and Microsoft Authenticator gives me MFA and password management.

Windows and iphone are not great companions. Dell do do mobile app in the store that is a bit clunky but does let iphone and Windows co-exist. However, Your Phone is really “Android link”. Even “Samsung link” given the integration.

The message for consumers is that Android is the preferred Microsoft platform. If you are using an iphone then it’s probably best to get a Mac.

Comments (23)

23 responses to “Windows, Your Phone and IOS”

  1. wunderbar

    I mean, yes? Apple's ecosystem is more controlled than Android, so an app like Your Phone cannot work with iOS like it can on Android.

    Bing Maps is a glaring omission on iOS, but it's not like there's a Microsoft Music or Microsoft Pay on Android so there's no difference there.

    From a Windows PC perspective, the only real difference is that you can't get notifications and SMS mirrored from an iPhone. It's not that different.

    From the phone side, Apple's limitation on setting default clients for all apps is a bit of a pain, but is starting to relax a bit now that default browser and mail apps can be selected. But that doesn't mean you can't actually use all of Microsoft's services on an iPhone.

    It definitely works better using an Android device if you have a Windows PC, but it isn't like it is a bad experience if you have an iPhone.

    • j5

      "It definitely works better using an Android device if you have a Windows PC, but it isn't like it is a bad experience if you have an iPhone."

      I understand what OP is talking about though. It's nice to be able to close that gap with your PC. I love that I can be on my Mac and reply to texts on it. And it works with my friends that are on Android and iPhone and Android group texts. AirDrop is amazing! Sending things to my iPhone to my Mac and vice versa. Or sending things to my wife and kid's iPhones from my Mac is great. For example, when I'm doing bills and looking at the calendar I send everyone, PDFs, texts, pictures for school or personal stuff via iMessage or ask them to come to my office and I can AirDrop them whatever I need to send them. I don't nor they have to install any 3rd party apps either. So being able to be in that ecosystem, that Microsoft doesn't have, is nice.

  2. phil_adcock

    This is the very reason I switched from using Windows as my primary OS to Mac. I love that I can respond to both imessage and text messages without having to pick up my phone. Before I bought my first used Mac last year, I primarily used FB Messenger to communicate with everyone. Using Mac OS is just so much easier for me to communicate with everyone now.

  3. fpalmieri

    So, as a developer, the obvious question I see (which Apple is starting to get a lot of questions now) is why can't other developers like Microsoft have access to the same API's that allow Apple to tightly integrate with iOS so Microsoft could do the same with Windows - I think this has obviously (from this thread) been a win for Apple in some respects (and maybe the new Mac's with the Apple chips will get them some more market share (but we've been saying some variation of that for close to 20 years now). I think it is a potential Achilles heal for the Apple ecosystem, just like the app store is getting a lot of scrutiny now - they would have been better off cutting a deal with Microsoft and creating a "very high bar" for other developers to get access to those API's but could say "we are open but we have security concerns for our ecosystem so will only work with trusted partners, etc.)

    • fpalmieri

      And I replaced by Nokia Windows Phone with an iPhone XR and joined the crowd at my house. Just bought two iPad's and probably one more soon.

  4. wright_is

    I've never managed to get it to work with Android or iOS. Mainly down to poor networking assumptions on Microsoft's part.

    The PC and the phone have to be on the same network segment, not just the same network. If they aren't, they can't be connected.

    Unfortunately, my home network has my PCs connected to the desktop network and Wi-Fi devices, like laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. are connected to the wi-fi subnet. They have full access to each other, but are on different network segments (E.g. Desktop network is and the wi-fi is So my PC and my Galaxy S20+ sit there waiting for a connection that never comes... You can't even manually enter the correct address for the other side, to force a connection, I either have to completely re-do my networking infrastructure or I have to do without Your Phone.

    At work, we have the same set-up, so I can't connect my work iPhone either.

    • j5

      See I think that stuff is pretty cool, home networks, having certain devices separated, etc. But at the same time, I'm thinking that's just another thing for me to maintain and monitor, on top of everything else I do, mowing the yard, vehicle maintenance, scouts, work, etc lol.

  5. dftf

    "Mostly I am now an Apple guy. You have to choose"

    Sounds like you already have...

    "The message for consumers is that Android is the preferred Microsoft platform. If you are using an iPhone then it’s probably best to get a Mac."

    Yes... just get a mac already. If you want full-integration of everything possible and have the money to go all-in with Apple, then just do so.

    Microsoft cannot make the "Your Phone" app do anything more than what Apple will allow API-wise, and that seems to be not-a-lot. Though even on the Android-side, to get the most out of it, you need one of a handful of Samsung-brand phones running at-least Android 9 or later.

    (I would also hazard-a-guess that "Your Phone" isn't a majorly-used feature of Windows outside of geek-circles though, as if it were that popular, I'd expect Apple would bake similar functionality into iTunes for Windows to ensure the lock-in remains...)

    • ponsaelius

      There is a Dell Mobile app in the Windows store that does support iPhone.

      it’s not impossible. It just seems only Dell are doing it.

      • j5

        I don't think is pretty limited on what it can do with iMessage. I looked into that before I switched to a Mac. It couldn't support MMS and only showed real time texts no history and some other things. Of course, this was a while back too. I don't know about now. Have you used it?

  6. johnh3

    I using a Windows computer. And the phone is a iPhone 12 Mini. And thats more for the compact size. On the Android side most phones are so called phablets that are huge.

    But recently its some interesting options there now. Like Asus Zenfone 8. So I guess its hard to tell if I stay with iOS or switch back to Android next time.

    • j5

      If I didn't care about my phone OS/hardware as much as my computer OS I'd probably have stayed with Windows and stuck with Android.

  7. anoldamigauser

    The worst part of using an iPhone with Windows is that the Windows OOBE keeps popping up so you can complete the setup of the Your Phone app, which if you have an iPhone is as useless as teats on a bull. You would think they would provide an option to opt out of Your Phone setup.

    • j5

      The worse part of me was not being able to use the default Apple apps like iMessage, Notes, Reminders, Photos, Contacts, Calendar, etc. on my Windows machine. I think we're all on our phones more than on our main computer. So it's nice and convenient when your phone and main computer can sync.

      • anoldamigauser

        Actually, I spend more time on the computer than the phone, so for me, other than iMessage, the Apple apps are superfluous. In your case, it probably makes sense to get a Mac.

        • wright_is

          Yep. I spend about 10 hours a day on my PC and, according to the monitoring software on my phone, about 6 hours a week on that.

          • j5

            Well maybe because we're techies or have a job that requires us to be on a computer? But I'm willing to bet that everyone outside of this area is on their phones more than their personal computer and that group of people is much larger than us techies. My wife is a teacher. Now she uses her laptop a lot but not as much as her phone, especially since Covid. She uses tons of communication apps and they all work from her phone.

            • wunderbar

              Yep, my Significant Other does not own a "computer." She has an iPhone that gets 80% of of her non work screen time, an an iPad that's mostly for Netflix. She has a windows laptop provided for work, but that doesn't see any use outside of work hours.

              I think for most people, that's now become the norm. the readers of a site like are definitely not an "average" user. And even then, in last week's Ask Paul, Paul himself said that 2/3 of all traffic to this site is from a smartphone, so....

  8. j5

    I switched to an M1 MacMini in March and have never looked back. I was always a Windows user before that, never touched a Mac, except once in 2008 and walked away in less than a minute. I switch my wife and me to iPhones in 2017 because one of our kids was old enough and needed a phone because of after school activities. Apple's ScreenTime really impressed me and I was entering that stage where our kids were going to need phones. Having been an Android user before this I didn't like the idea of buying new phones every 3 years just for security updates for myself, my wife, and the kids. So we switched! Everyone still has their iPhone 8s, except Dad because...well I pay the bills (and my wife) so I'm rocking a 12 now. I loved how easy iMessage worked with all of us. FindMy is great when the kids lost their phone in the house and then their AirPods. Apple's ScreenTime is HANDS DOWN the best! Totally blows Android's out of the water and other third-party ones, that scrape all the user's personal data. ScreenTime is easy enough for my wife to use who is not a techie and so much so that she hates updating her phone because of the chance of something new appearing lol.

    Some of us got iPads and that added another element to the ecosystem and being able to have everything on our phones available on the iPads. And once I got my MacMini I was able to fully use all the Apple apps I was using on my phone since 2017. And it's been great!

    I know people love to throw shade at the Apple ecosystem and I get it, especially from the geek point of view. But from the normie point of view of yeah I'm paying more but IT JUST WORKS and I don't have to worry about upgrading it in 2 or 3 years and I have myself and teenagers to worry about that extra cost is worth it, and whatever happened to just being good with just liking what you use.

    Apple Maps has come a long way lol. We used to use Google Maps when we first got our iPhones but the only Google app on my phone is YouTube now. I love Apple Notes! Now that I have a Mac I can use it there. Don't have to pay for similar features for a 3rd party app. I love Apple Photos having come from Windows which had nada! I know Google Photos is probably better search-wise and some features but again. Coming from Windows and being a normal, Dad with a wife and kids user, Apple Photos is awesome! I'm also a bit of a privacy enthusiast. So I trust Apple more than Microsoft and Microsoft more than Google. I use Apple Pay all the time! I was skeptical at first but during the peak of the pandemic and ordering food and groceries with it is great!

    It's hard to resist the pull of the Apple ecosystem once you get an iPhone. And I know this sounds fanboy but it’s the truth, their stuff just works! Sure Apple stuff has the same vulnerabilities and weakness that Windows computers and Android phones do because they’re all computers. But because of that closes system they’ve been able to keep janky stuff out and have years and years to develop the same hardware and features. I don’t hate Windows or Google either. I use Windows daily for work and like things about it over Mac. Like I wish the Windows Explorer UI/system was the same in Mac. Mac’s still confuses me. And I wish I could customize my iPhone icons to show a picture of my kids on the home screen…without using Siri Shortcuts and extra apps. But those aren’t deal breakers nor make me frown on Apple. Ok, long reply sorry. But your post really got me going. Looking forward to what others think.

    • samp

      "It's hard to resist the pull of the Apple ecosystem once you get an iPhone" - That's why I'm not getting an iphone ?

      • j5

        I get it, it's not for everyone. We all have our preferences.

  9. anoldamigauser

    When I had a Windows Phone, I used Skype for messaging so I could respond from the desktop or the phone. I could probably have set up my iPhone to do the same, but did not. While iMessage is good, I feel no particular lock-in, other than it is encrypted and the kids use it, and they do not give a lot of thought at times to sending sensitive information, so my using it keeps them a bit more secure.

    Signal would be a viable option if I could get them to use it other than when they have been overseas in countries with dubious governments...then again, ours is not exactly upstanding on the privacy front these days either.