As you’re doubtless aware if you fall into that category, it’s possible to run apps from certain supported Samsung handsets on the Windows desktop via Your Phone, and soon there’ll be an icon in the taskbar to facilitate opening the most recently used phone apps easily and conveniently.
This was pointed out on Twitter by Analy Otero Diaz, Principal Program Manager Lead at Microsoft, as noticed by XDA Developers (and the tech site further noted that this capability was mentioned by Samsung at its Unpacked event yesterday, where the Galaxy S22 and other models such as the Note-like S22 Ultra were unveiled).
#WindowsInsiders new @MSYourPhone feature coming your way! Recent apps built into your taskbar. Making it easier to go back to the apps that you were recently using on your Samsung phone. pic.twitter.com/fJgXT6zgRzFebruary 9, 2022
As the tweeted screenshot shows, the Your Phone icon sits on the right-hand side of the taskbar, in the notification area (or system tray as long-time Windows users will be used to calling it), next to the date/clock, Wi-Fi/network and so forth. Click the icon, and a panel with your three most recently used phone apps will appear, so you can easily access the applications you’ve just been using on your Samsung device and carry on working with them on the Windows desktop.
This feature is ‘coming your way’ Diaz says, so shouldn’t be too far off, and it’ll make the lives of both Windows 10 and 11 users easier as we mentioned at the outset.
Analysis: Still Samsung only, then?
Of course, for some time now you’ve been able to use Android apps off Samsung devices on the Windows desktop, but what this is doing is making it much easier to do so. For those who don’t want another taskbar icon, though, it’ll be easy enough to turn it off (head to the Apps panel under Settings, find the Your Phone app, then turn off ‘Show recently used apps in the Windows notification area’).
Some Twitter denizens have posted asking Diaz why this feature is for Samsung phones only, getting a reply along the lines of what Microsoft has already told us – that this particular ability requires a deeper level of device and operating system integration, with the software giant collaborating directly with Samsung to get it all working.
Interestingly, Diaz indicated that we will have further treats with this feature in the pipeline, later tweeting that “there’s more coming soon” without revealing any further info about exactly what that might be. (It won’t be support outside Samsung hardware, we can tell you that much).
Remember also that Windows 11 will get native Android app support in the very near future, later this month, in fact; albeit still in beta form. And the other catch is, it won’t be all Android apps, just those available through the Amazon App Store (delivered via the Microsoft Store). Still, that’s a good start, and this will actually be running the apps on the PC (as opposed to remotely operating them from a Samsung phone).
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