Microsoft to bring Android apps to Windows PCs

Microsoft to bring Android apps to Windows PCs

Microsoft has announced plans to introduce app mirroring capabilities to its Windows 10 platform, which will allow users to view and use their Android mobile apps directly from a Windows 10 desktop or laptop PC.

This works by casting the entire smartphone's screen to a PC via Wi-Fi, so users will be able to see all their apps and notifications on their Windows device.

Microsoft demonstrated the technology at an event in New York this week. During the presentation, the company showed how it would be possible for a Windows 10 user to take part in a Snapchat conversation without having to use their phone.

It demonstrated how the Snapchat app was mirrored onto a Windows 10 PC, which allowed users to type directly into the conversation panel on their computer.

The event also showed how a user could drag and drop photos captured with a phone directly into a PowerPoint slide deck on a PC. 

Microsoft said the feature will be available on PCs through the new Your Phone companion desktop app, which is arriving as part of the Windows 10 October update, although app mirroring capabilities won't be available straight away.

The feature will initially only be available to users with a mobile device running Android 7.0 or later, and Microsoft gave no indication what, if any, Your Phone services would be available for users of iPhones.

While this is not the first technology to enable users to interact with their phone from their desktop, having it added as an official feature of Windows could be highly useful for people who often find themselves transferring files between their devices, or need to frequently look away from their computer to see phone notifications or text messages.

Microsoft also used the event this week to debut a refreshed Surface lineup, which includes new tablets, laptops and, for the first time, Surface-branded headphones that include the firm's Cortana virtual assistant.