Microsoft’s Your Phone App Becomes Phone Link

Microsoft’s Your Phone app, which lets Windows users access some features of their Android phone on the desktop is being rebranded as Phone Link. In addition to the new name, Microsoft also gave the app a fresh coat of paint and a new tabbed interface.

“We see this experience as more than just bringing your phone into your PC but as a bridge between the two devices, so we are renaming the app to Phone Link. And to further celebrate this connection between your two devices, we have also renamed the mobile companion app from Your Phone Companion to Link to Windows for all Android users,” the company explained today.

User interface

Here are the main changes to observe in the new Phone Link app:

Tabbed interface: The app now features phone notifications on the left, and the new tab navigation provides quick access to messages, photos, apps, and phone calls.

New app design: The app now follows the Windows 11 design language with rounded corners and updated iconography.

Setup improvements: The next Windows 11 update will let users configure Phone Link with a QR code during the out-of-box experience. Windows Insiders can already test this.

New market: Microsoft is making its Phone Link app available on Honor Magic V, Magic 4 series, and Magic 3 series devices in China.

“The journey doesn’t stop here, we’ll continue to bring more cross-device experiences to Windows through Phone Link,” Microsoft said today. For now, Phone Link still provides a more integrated experience on Surface Duo and select Samsung Galaxy devices. Recently, Microsoft has also started testing a new Recent Apps feature which lets users of Samsung devices see and launch the three most recently used apps on their Android phone on their PC.

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Conversation 38 comments

  • dftf

    31 March, 2022 - 11:08 am

    <p>Not the first rename: go back to the original 1507 release of <em>Windows 10</em> and it was named "Phone Companion" then, and supported <em>Windows Phone, Android </em>and <em>iOS </em>devices.</p><p><br></p><p>I don’t think the current one in <em>Windows 11</em> supports <em>iOS</em> (within the <em>Settings</em> app right-now in <em>Windows 10 21H2</em>, it still says "Link your Android, iPhone", though if you launch the <em>Your Phone </em>app from the <em>Start Menu</em>, it only mentions <em>Android</em> there).</p><p><br></p><p>They might as-well just rebrand it "Android Link", as that’s really all it supports!</p>

    • fishnet37222

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 11:17 am

      <p>Might as well be called Android Phone Link since it doesn’t work with tablets.</p>

      • dftf

        31 March, 2022 - 11:21 am

        <p>Not-even any <em>Samsung </em>tablets?</p>

        • digiguy

          Premium Member
          31 March, 2022 - 12:28 pm

          <p>it works with Samsung tablets</p>

          • ids

            Premium Member
            31 March, 2022 - 4:16 pm

            <p>Hmmm…. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with Android 12, Microsoft Launcher and all the other gubbins. You can’t install the app as it does not appear in the Google Play store.</p><p><br></p><p>However if you want to dice with the devil, open the Samsung Galaxy Store and its there.</p><p><br></p><p>I can’t quite get my head how stupid MS are with their mobile apps, coverage etc.</p>

            • miamimauler

              31 March, 2022 - 7:09 pm

              <p>"<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">I can’t quite get my head how stupid MS are with their mobile apps, coverage etc"</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Why not? MS have a long and proud history of shooting itself in the foot with its mobile decisions.</span></p>

    • mikegalos

      31 March, 2022 - 12:15 pm

      <p>The cost of Apple’s walled garden model. They can’t admit anyone would use any computer but an IOS or macOS device. </p>

    • scovious

      31 March, 2022 - 10:04 pm

      <p>It’s not like Microsoft decided to not support iPhones, they just aren’t allowed to because Apple doesn’t want them too. </p><p><br></p><p>Fortunately for those iPhone users out there: governments around the world are cracking down on Apple’s "business model" now that they dominate consumer technology around the world; Apple is in the process of being forced to lift their pointless restrictions that block compatibility with other non-Apple technology. </p><p><br></p><p>In the meantime Apple will delay in court as long as possible, citing security risks and dangerous accidents as justification for their documented lock in-strategy to sell more products and trap Apple users in a vicious cycle. But that can’t last forever.</p>

  • navarac

    31 March, 2022 - 11:10 am

    <p>Might as well be called "Samsung Link" as they are the phones that this purportedly works best with :-)</p>

    • JustDavid

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 11:20 am

      <p>And it works quite well with my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra </p>

      • bleeman

        Premium Member
        31 March, 2022 - 7:36 pm

        <p>Same with my Galaxy Z Fold 3</p>

      • adamstaiwan

        31 March, 2022 - 8:43 pm

        <p>Found the cheapest Samsung phone I could that looked like it would support. Works well with Galaxy A32 5G.</p>

    • dftf

      31 March, 2022 - 11:21 am

      <p>Yeah, I really don’t get why they persist with this <em>Samsung </em>partnership — if the APIs they rely-on to make the features work are standard to the latest versions of <em>Android</em>, they are just limiting who will bother to use the feature.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Samsung </em>phones often do come with apps like <em>Excel, Outlook, Word, OneDrive </em>pre-installed (or at-least the first time you tap the icon, it downloads the app) so I guess this is what <em>Microsoft</em> gets in return?</p>

  • murray judy

    31 March, 2022 - 11:35 am

    <p>I recently moved from a Pixel to iPhone and really miss the My Phone app. I’m hoping that the EU is successful in forcing Apple to open up iMessage.</p>

    • rob_segal

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 11:50 am

      <p>Opening up iMessage and every other messaging app sound nice, but it will be the details and implementation that will matter. It could be something people regret hoping for when they get it.</p>

      • SvenJ

        Premium Member
        31 March, 2022 - 12:13 pm

        <p>In my experience, forced interoperability is always implemented at the lowest common denominator. Be careful what you wish for, or decree, in this case.</p>

    • anoldamigauser

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 12:24 pm

      <p>Personally, I would prefer it if Apple would just make an iMessage client for Windows and Linux. I do not need to run phone apps on a PC, and my photos are backed up to the cloud and available on the PC already.</p><p><br></p><p>What I would really prefer would be to have all the folk in my world use Signal, but that is not going to happen.</p>

    • TomKer

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 1:56 pm

      <p>Got an HP PC? I stumbled across HP Quicksend in the iOS sub on Reddit the other day. It allows you to send stuff between your iPhone and an HP PC – including SMS. Not nearly as nice as Your Phone with a Pixel (I just made that switch too), but it does work.</p>

  • pauldain

    Premium Member
    31 March, 2022 - 11:48 am

    <p>Is it just me, or does the "link" moniker just sound so mid-90s? I’d feel like I’m connecting my Palm Pilot via a serial cable.</p>

    • dftf

      31 March, 2022 - 2:00 pm

      <p>Unless <em>Palm </em>offered their own software, perhaps you’re thinking of <em>ActiveSync</em> ?</p>

      • Sykeward

        31 March, 2022 - 6:10 pm

        <p>Palm made the HotSync software, but Act Software make a popular contact manager called Palm Link. …man, I still miss my Palm Tungsten E2 sometimes.</p>

  • anoldamigauser

    Premium Member
    31 March, 2022 - 12:17 pm

    <p>As an iPhone user, this application is dead to me. Are they going to allow this to be uninstalled without resorting to PowerShell? Will it stop installing with every feature update?</p>

    • egab

      31 March, 2022 - 4:23 pm

      <p>As an iPhone user, you should be OK with unwanted stock apps you can’t remove.</p>

      • anoldamigauser

        Premium Member
        31 March, 2022 - 5:22 pm

        <p>Touché.</p><p>Of course, they never haunted me the way Windows would, occasionally popping up the OOBE asking me to link my phone.</p>

        • egab

          01 April, 2022 - 6:46 pm

          <p>With that I agree, they can be nagging.</p>

  • crunchyfrog

    31 March, 2022 - 12:59 pm

    <p>I never thought much about the name being, "Your Phone". Seemed a bit bland and not too descriptive. I think this rebrand works well but only if they stop changing the name.</p><p>You don’t see Apple renaming their primary app very often.</p>

    • adamstaiwan

      31 March, 2022 - 8:39 pm

      <p>The "Your Phone" name was terrible. I tried doing searches to see which phones supported it. It does not work well in conversations: "Can I use Your Phone with this phone?". </p>

    • dftf

      01 April, 2022 - 1:15 pm

      <p>The nearest-equivalent on the <em>Apple</em> side might be <em>iTools</em>, which became <em>.mac</em>, then <em>MobileMe</em> and I think most of it just folded into <em>iCloud</em> later on (though some parts might now only be part of <em>Apple One</em>)?</p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft also had <em>SkyDrive </em>in the past, but had to change it due to legal-action from the <em>SKY</em> broadcasting company. <em>OneDrive</em> still sounds fine to me though: some-other alternative they could have gone with like <em>CloudDrive</em> or <em>AirDrive</em> sound worse, or had it launched thesedays they’d likely have gone with either <em>Drive365 </em>or <em>Microsoft Drive Online</em> or something!</p>

  • egab

    31 March, 2022 - 4:25 pm

    <p>Well, I use this app a lot, hopefully the name change won’t lead to killing the service like with many MS services before.</p>

  • Shel Dyck

    31 March, 2022 - 8:21 pm

    <p>In Win10 all it got was a name change, not the ui stuff</p>

    • dftf

      01 April, 2022 - 1:17 pm

      <p>I’d imagine that will be a trend on <em>Windows 10</em> now — can’t see many apps getting major new features now <em>Windows 11</em> is here. (Though it is unclear exactly where <em>W10</em> stands-now support-wise, as other-than the "October 2025" deadline, <em>Microsoft</em> haven’t said anything around whether they are treating it as "security and bug-fix only" or anything.)</p>

  • sandeepm

    31 March, 2022 - 9:34 pm

    <p>Just reading the article title for now, not the whole article. Finally some common sense is returning. The name of the app was so offending that I never used it. </p><p><br></p><p>The other reason I have never used it is because I have different computers for work and home and it works with only one. </p>

    • VMax

      Premium Member
      01 April, 2022 - 1:18 am

      <p>I use it with two machines happily enough, one Win10 and one Win11 Insider Dev. I’m connecting to a Samsung phone though, and mostly using it to send text messages more easily on one of them, so perhaps those differences are relevant. </p>

  • wolters

    Premium Member
    01 April, 2022 - 9:08 am

    <p>I use this daily and I’ll say this again…RCS needs to come to this and then it will be a KILLER app!</p>

    • chirowilk

      01 April, 2022 - 11:01 am

      <p>Still no ability to delete messages from desktop.</p>

  • epsjrno

    Premium Member
    01 April, 2022 - 10:53 am

    <p>Whatever the changes, this update cleared up the intermittent connection issues I’ve had over the last several weeks (primarily texting).</p><p><br></p><p>No issues at all since.</p>

  • franklyray

    Premium Member
    02 April, 2022 - 11:45 am

    <p>?? Will it work if I have a Google Voice (VOIP) phone number? Thanks</p>

    • dftf

      08 April, 2022 - 6:49 pm

      <p>I can’t see anything online from anyone saying it <em>doesn’t</em> work.</p><p><br></p><p>If you have a Microsoft Account, why not just give it a try? If it doesn’t, it’s only a case of then uninstalling the "Link to Windows" app off your device, then going into the Accounts settings on your phone and removing the Microsoft one (assuming you only added that account for this one purpose).</p>


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