Microsoft brings Android apps to Windows 10 with new screen mirroring beta

Microsoft is starting to test updates to its Your Phone app for Windows 10 this week, allowing Android users to mirror a phone screen directly to a PC. The “phone screen” feature will be available for Windows Insiders this week, and it requires the latest test builds of Windows 10 and the Your Phone app. Microsoft previously demonstrated the phone screen mirroring feature in Your Phone at the company’s Surface event in October. The app works by mirroring a phone screen straight onto Windows 10, and it provides a list of your Android apps. You can tap to access them and have them appear in the remote session of your phone that’s mirrored to your PC.

Microsoft is making Bluetooth with Low Energy Peripheral mode a requirement for PCs, as this is how the Your Phone app communicates and mirrors Android to Windows 10 PCs. That means not many PCs will be able to participate in testing the feature initially, but Surface Go is the first Surface machine to support the beta test.

Microsoft is also limiting the number of phones that will support mirroring during the test, and it’s currently only available on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S9, and S9 Plus. Microsoft says it plans to expand the list of phone and PC devices over time.

Screen mirroring is a clever way to bring mobile apps to the PC and for Microsoft to embrace Android. It follows similar efforts from Bluestacks and even Dell’s Mobile Connect software that both attempt to bring Android apps to the PC. Microsoft is only testing the feature for now, but it does support older versions of Windows 10 so it will likely debut as a separate update to Your Phone once testing is finished.

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