What you need to know
- Microsoft has announced a huge revamp for its Your Phone app.
- The app is now called "Phone Link" and it's being redesigned with a new visual UI, tabbed navigation, and a focus on notifications.
- The phone companion app is being renamed "Link to Windows," which was previously exclusive to phones like Galaxy devices.
Microsoft has just introduced a major redesign for its Your Phone app, which connects Android phones to Windows PCs. The app is getting a new look and —finally — a new name, and will now be called "Phone Link."
Along with the welcome name change, the new Phone Link UI features a revamped visual experience, one that Microsoft says "brings notifications upfront." In the PC app, you'll find a panel of notifications directly under your phone's status and quick settings toggles, an area previously home to the side navigation panel for messages, photos, and apps. Now, these functions can be accessed from their new placement at the top of the app.
As far as notifications, the new permanent placement gives you an even better view of the notifications synced from your Android phones. For instance, when the side panel is minimized, you'll still have a visual representation of your notifications thanks to a row of app icons, so you'll know which apps are notifying you at any given moment. And clicking on the notifications will give you the option to respond in-line or open the app on your desktop (for supported Android phones).
In addition to the major revamp, users on Windows 11 will receive an even bigger refresh "to deliver a native app experience on the new Windows 11 OS." This includes rounded corners, new iconography, and an updated color palette.
For Android phones, not much is changing, but the "Your Phone Companion" app is being renamed "Link to Windows," which should sound familiar if you own the Microsoft Surface Duo or Samsung Galaxy phones. This should help keep the naming a bit more consistent as opposed to differentiating it between certain Android devices.
Additionally, Microsoft is opening up Phone Link functionality to more Android devices, specifically select Honor smartphones. This includes the new Honor Magic V as well as the Magic 4 and Magic 3 series devices. And with Windows 11, you'll soon be able to set up Phone Link during your initial PC setup process, simply by scanning a QR code. That way, you can get connected right out of the box.
The new Phone Link experience is available now on Windows devices. If you're already using the PC app, you may need to just update it in the Microsoft Store. Otherwise you can get started by clicking the link.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
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