iPhone for the Windows Guy: Getting Started

Posted on December 26, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 0 Comments

iPhone for the Windows Guy: Getting Started

Adopting iPhone as your smart phone platform doesn’t mean you need to leave Microsoft behind. So this new series will step through the process of getting up and running with your Microsoft-based data and apps on iPhone.

Note: This article will focus on what I feel are the top things you can do to convert your Apple-centric smart phone into a more comfortable Microsoft-based user experience. I’ll expand on these tips in future articles in this series.

Get your Microsoft apps

I’ve written before about Microsoft’s wide range of iPhone (and iOS) apps in Microsoft + iPhone, though that article is now several months old. So you can find a more complete list of what’s available onMicrosoft’s page on the Apple App Store site. (Skype’s apps, inexplicably, are available separately.)

And what a collection of apps it is. Perhaps not surprisingly, all of the major Microsoft apps are available on iPhone, including Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote), OneDrive, Groove, Bing, Skype, Skype for Business, Office Lens, Microsoft Health (for Microsoft Band), Remote Desktop, MSN News, MSN Money, MSN Sports, Xbox One SmartGlass, and more. There are even some games like Halo: Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike and Minecraft.

Microsoft employees and small teams also develop a great collection of Microsoft Garage apps. (I’ll be writing more about Microsoft Garage, and specific Garage apps for iPhone, soon.)

Note, too, that Microsoft supports the Apple Watch wearables platform, so if you’re all-in on Apple devices, you can go Microsoft on your wrist too. (I’ll also be writing more about Microsoft and Apple Watch soon.)

Sync your photos with OneDrive

While I do use and recommend Google Photos on iPhone for a variety of reasons—including cloud photo backup—there is no reason you can’t use two (or more) cloud services for photo backup. And if you’ve been using OneDrive to backup a previous Windows phone or other handset, continuing to do so on iPhone makes plenty of sense.

OneDrive for iPhone will prompt you to backup your photos after you’ve installed the app and signed in with your Microsoft account. But make sure you visit Settings to configure a few options: You may only want to backup over Wi-Fi, for example, or when your phone is charging.

Use your phone for two-factor authentication

Microsoft doesn’t make an authenticator app for iOS for some reason, but the Google Authenticator app works great and supports Microsoft accounts.

Update. My mistake: Microsoft does make an authenticator app for iOS. It’s called Azure Authenticator, and it works like the Google Authenticator app unless you’re using an Azure account.

More soon

I’ll be writing more tips for using iPhone with Microsoft apps and services in the near future. If there’s anything you want to know, I can prioritize based on demand. –Paul


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