Phone Notification Sync is Rolling Out to Windows 10’s Your Phone App

Posted on April 26, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 19 Comments

Microsoft has begun rolling out an update to the Your Phone app in Windows 10 that enables it to sync phone notifications in addition to recent photos and text messages.

“Windows Insiders using the Your Phone app, we got even more for you,” Microsoft director Vishnu Nath tweeted. “We have just begun a staged roll-out of syncing notifications from your phone to PC.”

For those unfamiliar, Your Phone has emerged as a key component of Microsoft’s strategy to make Windows 10 PCs integrate with smartphones. It was first made available to Windows Insiders in August 2018, when it offered only the ability to access recent photos from Android handsets. Then text message capabilities were added a month later. And then Microsoft revealed that it would also add the ability to mirror your phone’s display on your PC.

That latter capability was not part of the original plan for Your Phone. But phone notification sync was, and with this feature now rolling out to Windows Insiders, Your Phone is creeping ever-closer to fulfilling its original vision, albeit mostly for those who own Android phones. It’s not clear how much functionality Microsoft can build into Your Phone for iPhone users because of Apple’s locked ecosystem.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Phone Notification Sync is Rolling Out to Windows 10’s Your Phone App”

  1. Vladimir Carli

    I hope that apple realizes that they are going to hurt iphone sales by not allowing any kind of integration. In these times they might be sensitive to this matter

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to Vladimir:

      If Windows can fully integrate with Android, and not so well with iPhone, we will migrate our company of iPhones. Our hope is that we hear an announcement for Andromeda but if nothing materializes by Q1 2020 iPhones will probably be history for us.

  2. Daekar

    Will be good as long as we can control which notifications come through. I am really looking forward to the screen mirror thing, though, that will be killer.

  3. Slepr

    Sad that this doesn't work on my Surface Pro 6 due to incompatible Bluetooth low energy driver necessary for the mirroring. Seems to me Microsoft would make sure it's latest hardware is up to date to use the features.

  4. bleeman

    I'll be happy when Your Phone consistently connects to my PC. 90% of the time, I get the "We can't connect...make sure you're on the same wireless network..." message. Then out of the blue it will suddenly connect while I'm working on something else. Nothing has changed it just decided it was going to work on its own schedule <sigh>.

  5. IanYates82

    This should be nice. I use Pushbullet to get notifications on the PC, and it works pretty well. But it'd be nice to get something from a more-trusted provider like Microsoft.


    Like the other nice thing mentioned in another article today - dictation support for more than US - we've got to wait a year to really use it. I know people don't like the 6 month cadence, but getting improvements like this are why the more frequent updates are great (but with the 19H2 weirdness we've got going on maybe that really will just be an R2 release?). The really smart thing to do would be to make this kind of functionality something delivered via the store as an app update - I don't really see that Android notifications, or even screen mirroring, is something that involves updates to things like the Windows kernel. And anyone who owns an iPhone, for example, would just not install this app. Win for everyone.


    Paul - do you know why they put this kind of stuff directly into Windows rather than separating it out as an app that can run on current Windows releases? (I know it's technically an app now, but it's either artificially restricted to the 20H1 build or Microsoft has written code in Windows itself specifically for this)

  6. lvthunder

    Hopefully Apple and Microsoft can work something out so these features can come to Windows. The Mac already does some of this type stuff with iPhones so maybe Apple or Microsoft with Apple's approval can write a bridge app to allow it.

    • ommoran

      In reply to lvthunder:


      I'm of the opinion that Apple will never allow this. It will keep iSheep locked into buying overpriced underwhelming Macbooks so they can iMessage from their computers.


      I broke my Fiancee's reliance on computer-based iMessage with a gorgeous copper and ash HP Spectre x360 - it took the style and power to convince her, even though it was priced much less than a (sort of but not really) competitive Mac.


      They needed to, say, put iTunes onto the PC in order for the iPod to be a success. They can use iMessage as a wedge to sell more Macs when people are buying a new PC. They just won't make that happen.

  7. jimchamplin

    I take it that this works better than the for-some-reason Cortana and Skype-based methods from the past?

  8. nickysreensaver

    Paul, can you reach out to Microsoft about the support for RCS messages in Your Phone- it's a glaring omission as the app becomes nonfunctional with any texting apps on the phone that utilize that.

  9. bharris

    Everyone has different needs so adding notifications is great. I ran some third party software that did this for about three months, and in my case, I found it more distracting than helpful. Maybe Microsoft will implement it better. What would be great is if you could control which app's notifications get mirrored to the desktop.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to bharris:

      I use Pushbullet at the moment.


      It's very noisy at first but as notifications pop up on your PCs from apps you can indicate you want that app muted and it won't notify you for that app on any connected PC again (multiple PCs supported, which is handy for work/home or laptop/desktop/Surface)


      If you buy it you can also hit the various quick action links/buttons that appear in the notifications.

  10. remc86007

    I really hope Apple brings imessage to Windows. I guess they figure that it is one of their largest drivers of sales of their Macbooks, but it seems that they are trading high-margin sales of Iphone to try to obtain low-margin Macbook sales.


    I have an Iphone now, but if imessage doesn't come to Windows, my next phone likely won't be an Iphone. I have no desire to, nor could I with my computer needs, switch to Mac.

  11. Trickyd

    Maybe its just me but I'm not sure why you'd want notifications on windows as well ... I have them on my phone and my Android wear watch, I don't really want them in triplicate especialy as the windows relevant ones like email and skype will be there anyway.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to Trickyd:

      I think the point is to get important/timely information with minimal disruption while you're working on your PC, and then ideally be able to respond if necessary-- again without leaving the PC. Every time you disengage from your computer and switch to your phone you're switching modes and it costs time and attention. The more often it happens the more disruptive it is to your flow. One of the few things I miss since switching to an iPhone is the ability to reply to texts from my PC.

      • Trickyd

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        Good points, switching focus is highly disruptive, I think whilst working I have split it to have the phone as personal stuff and the computer as work and I try to check the phone once an hour or for a break to keep the disruptions to a minimum. I have all notifications permanently silent and use do not disturb with starred contacts to filter out all but important calls.

  12. harmjr

    I wish the text message capabilities were in the Office 365 web portal so that I could respond on any machine not just ones with Your Phone app installed and setup.

  13. jdunn0

    I'm using AirDroid at the moment to get notications, sms via computer, etc.

    It also has screen mirroring capibilities though I think you need to connect the phone via usb or have the phone rooted due to restrictions that Android has on what apps can do.


    It will be interesting to see how Microsoft's offering works compared to AirDroid.

    When I last tried Windows 10's inital support for getting phone notifications, it did not work as well.

    Also, I wonder if Microsoft's screen mirriring support will have the same limitations as AirDroid does.

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