back to article Latest Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Insider Preview lets you link to an Android phone, with synchronised web browsing the first supported feature. Build 16251 also marks the moment when Microsoft forks the Windows 10 code between the RS3 (Redstone 3, the codename for the Fall Creators Update) and the version to follow. Testers now …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even so, this will be better for most users

    Really? Has MS got a new suit of clothes?

    Once you accept that everything that our Redmond Overlord does is for its own benefit and not ours life becomes a lot more beariable. Especially, when you make the decision that 'enough is enough' and either revert back to Windows 7 or defect to the Linux or (shudder) the MacOS camps.

    At least in those two alternative OS's you have an update sytem that works 99.9% of the time AND lets you do it when you want.

    Still, you have to hand it to MS... They keep trying but IMHO, their update system even after this leaves a lot to be desired.

    Grade C-. Lots of effort put in but stll a great room for improvement.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Even so, this will be better for most users

      "Has MS got a new suit of clothes?"

      No they're using a new brand of LUBRICANT. Instead of "Micro-shaft Astro-Glide" it's now "Micro-shaft CURARE-GLIDE" (relax, this won't hurt a bit!)

      1. wallaby

        Re: Even so, this will be better for most users

        And Bob is out of the starting box.......

        Oh the tedium

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Oh the tedium

          Hardly! I never tire of learning how much better Linux is than Windows. In fact, a couple more years of this and I may even be persuaded to try it again!

          1. Geoffrey W

            Re: Oh the tedium

            Oh, go on. You know you want to. We already put a nice little pod in your shed and when you go to sleep next your world will be so shiny and bright, and your family will hardly tell the difference, except you'll be happier and always smiling. Hush now...rock-a-bye Linus, in the tree top...Stepford is this way...Shhhhhh...Your windows update will take awhile so there's time for a little sleepy-kins...

        2. Not an Anonymous Coward

          Re: Even so, this will be better for most users


          Bring back Microsoft Bob.

    2. Updraft102

      Re: Even so, this will be better for most users

      "Hey Microsoft, do you think you could give us a real off switch for all of the telemetry, let us control our own updates, let us uninstall things we don't want even if you want us to have them, stop changing our settings, stop installing crap we didn't ask for, stop uninstalling crap we did ask for, eliminate the advertising, and maybe do a little beta testing before foisting your updates on the non-enterprise world instead of having us do that for you?"

      "Um, no, but here's a 3d Paint program!"

      "Ok, wonderful, but now that we have that, maybe now we can have some of the things we asked for?"

      "Um, no, but here's a thing that will allow you to share a URL from your phone to your PC!"


      1. Don't say no

        Re: Even so, this will be better for most users

        Right on, facepalm. And as for the fing what is supposed to share with you (android) phone they are up there with POTUS. Why can't they get somepone who writes code which actually works and help staff who know Windows and are not trained in Apple speak?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    So Microsoft found a new way to make money...

    By slurping personal data from people's phones ?

    Who do they think they are ? Google ?

  3. David Lawton

    I see Microsoft have been at the photocopiers again. I've been doing this between my Mac, iPhone and iPad in all directions for a few years now. This is just a bad version of Apples continuity & handoff years later.

    1. 520

      Hell, I've been doing the same between my Android phone and Linux box. KDEConnect has been doing this and much more for years now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can link "an android" to your Mac?

      1. stephanh

        Re: Really?

        Yes. Firefox has a similar feature as described, so you can send the link from Firefox/Android to Firefox/macos.

      2. Chemical Bob

        Re: You can link "an android" to your Mac?

        Yes, but since they are different species, any offspring would be sterile - like mules, only digital.

  4. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    So I can't "continue this" from Windows Phone then ?

    Ha ha.

    1. Def Silver badge

      So I can't "continue this" from Windows Phone then ?

      Windows 10 already lets you share settings across devices that use the same (Microsoft) account. So I imagine that this is just an extension of that functionality, so you won't need an app to do it, it'll just be there by default.

    2. Don't say no

      I HAD a Windows phone - such cr** I put it in the bin. No wonder Microsoft dropped them - obviously there is someone there with a granule of sense

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Been syncing with Chrome on my PC, tablet and phone for ages. And none are iThnigs either !!

  6. Solarflare

    None of this appeals to me at all - I don't use cortana )I actually surgically removed her, but that's beside the point) and I don't fancy connecting my phone to my PC for a minor convenience of being able to open up a page in a browser slightly quicker. That said, I can see that both of these would appeal to some, even if neither are new or groundbreaking.

    1. shade82000


      On my PC, in Chrome I click add bookmark then save to mobile bookmarks, then I open it up on my phone which defaults to the mobile bookmarks folder.

      On my phone, in Chrome I click add bookmark then save to mobile bookmarks which is the default folder, then I open it up on my PC.

      So what's new?

      Ahh riiight I need an MS app on the phone, possibly a browser extension for Chrome or a complete switch to using Edge where the functionality is baked into the latest browser update.

      I see now, they are trying to guide me away from other browsers toward Edge.

      Thank you anyway MS but I'm happy with the way I've been doing it for the last six years, it just works.

      MS seems to be a bit late to the party with all things concerning mobile. So so late that they are turning up drunk with a half bottle after everybody else has moved on to the next party.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a trap

    The headline should really read "Latest Windows 10 preview tricks users into installing Microsoft Apps on their phone". That's all this is really about, Microsoft trying to divert some of Google's data-slurping to their own servers. The rather trivial and long-implemented-elsewhere "link your phone" feature is nothing in and of itself, even if it wasn't half-baked, as other commentards have pointed out above.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft trying to divert some of Google's data-slurping to their own servers

      How very dare they! Starving our favourite Ad provider of revenue! The absolute bastards!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Cortana, turn off my computer!"


    My Computer, turn off Cortana , exile it never to return and kill those running libraries.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like linking a tapeworm to your colon.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    But uhm...

    "The "link your phone" feature works like this. In Windows Settings, you add your phone, currently Android only but with iPhone support to follow soon."

    What about Windows Phone?

    1. hplasm
      Paris Hilton

      Re: But uhm...

      "What about Windows Phone?"

      What about what, now?

    2. Updraft102

      Re: But uhm...

      Windows phone, despite "mobile" being "first," gets nothing most of the time. If you want to know where the mobile updates ended up, it's on the PC desktop. Surely there must have been a mix-up somewhere; our PC-oriented updates must be out there running on a toaster or something.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But uhm...

      >"What about Windows Phone?"

      Sir David Attenborough has been dispatched by the BBC to try and capture footage of one in the wild but he isn't hopeful as they are suspected to be extinct.

  11. Jonathan 27

    I think I'll just keep using the Chrome sync integration, thanks.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Me too, I'd hate if those targetted ads stopped.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I think I'll just keep using the Chrome sync integration, thanks."

      Does that work locally or does it send your data to the Google?

  12. Mark C Casey

    HDR still broken?

    I wonder if they'll finally fix HDR on Windows 10, it has been broken since the creators update on nvidia graphics cards.

    Not fun if you've got a media centre pc hooked up to your HDR capable tv.

    1. cb7

      Re: HDR still broken?

      Why would you build a HTPC using Windows 10? Mine still runs Win 7 as I haven't found anything as good or better than Windows Media Centre yet...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: HDR still broken?

        "I haven't found anything as good or better than Windows Media Centre yet...

        Kodi? Actually a genuine query as I've never seen or used WMC so have no idea of it's capabilities. With a Raspberry Pi on each TV running Kodi as well as Kodi on each Linux and FreeBSD PC in the house (even my wifes Windows laptop!) and shared MySQL database on the media server, everything is available everywhere, including watched status and bookmarks across user profiles. For me, that's the killer feature.

    2. Stretch

      Re: HDR still broken?

      Wait... You installed an UPDATE? To Windows?!?! Madness. Updates only remove functionality you were using and introduce new bugs. Set your internet connection to metered and turn off updates NOW.

  13. Mage Silver badge

    Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

    You mean Win10 didn't before?

    I'm sure I could in XP and Win7.

    I can on Linux too (if you add a some stuff from the distro repository you can link iPhone too, without hated iTunes).

    Maybe the big feature is opening a page you used on the phone/tablet in Edge. I'd not want to ever do that.

    If I *DID* want to lose privacy and sync web use, I could use Firefox sync.


  14. Ralph76

    Chrome anyone

    This sounds amazing!.... It will be so refreshing to side load an app that allows one direction sync of my browsing and tries to force me to us MS Edge..

    I have had to put up with the pretty seamless 2-way sync within Chrome on my desktop and Chrome on my Android phone and indeed Android tablet.

  15. Len Goddard

    Wouldn't it be easier

    just to open the link in your browser of choice to start with?

  16. Howard Hanek


    So that Nigerian Prince who's always offering me money can do it on my phone as well. He'll appreciate that. He's been very persistent.

  17. NonSSL-Login
    Big Brother

    Its a feature and nothing to do with linking separate phone and pc tracking stuff to a single individual for advertising purposes...

    There is a reason my android google account has never logged in on my pc and never will.

  18. Barry Rueger


    Seriously El Reg? This a pretty minimal trick to waste so many electrons on. I could just see it being useful in some cases, assuming that the app works with whatever stale-dated version of Android exists on your 13 month old phone, and assuming Windows 10 hasn't launched into the daily "why won't this stupid computer just do what I want?" mode. (Direct quote that was.)

    There are many reasons to dislike Windows 10, but they stem from great, gaping lack of usability, not from a lack of kewl apps.

  19. aregross

    Do the Virii also migrate over to my Android?


  20. Anonymous Coward

    Sullying Windows 10, WTF?

    I certainly won't be linking the world's shitiest shareware OS to Windows 10!

    1. conscience

      Re: Sullying Windows 10, WTF?

      Windows 10 IS the Android of desktop operating systems.

      There really isn't much difference between them.

      1. Updraft102

        Re: Sullying Windows 10, WTF?

        Android at least knows it's not running on a desktop.

  21. Richard Plinston

    Could Microsoft one day launch its own Android phone

    It already did. Originally they were Nokia-X but became Microsoft-X when they bought the business.

  22. cb7

    So little so late

    Given the shite state of Windows Phone and the claustrophobic iOS, my first smartphone was reluctantly Android. And 3 phones later, still is.

    The thing I still miss the most, years later, is hands-off wireless sync of contacts between MS-Outlook and my phone address book.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So little so late

      >The thing I still miss the most, years later, is hands-off wireless sync of contacts between MS-Outlook and my phone address book.

      And to think that once upon a time (ie. 1990's) we used intellisync, which if I remember rightly supported IrDA sync. ...

      Just goes to show that the frantic Windows release cycle is preventing MS from making the Windows platform truely useful to users...

  23. Chris Clawson

    If they give us an easy and reliable way to transfer files between Android and Windows, I'll be interested. Till then I'm hitting snooze.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I'm on Android, the last thing I want is to partake in Microsoft's ecosystem.

    I don't need another crappy app from Microsoft to 'interface' with a Windows computer. All you need to transfer stuff between an Android phone and a Windows computer is a USB connection. That's the beauty of it, no need for a 'middleman' such as iTunes for iPhones.

    Microsoft failed in peddling Windows mobile phones, so now it attempts to extend its tentacles to iOS and Android. I'm not falling for your cunning plan, SatNad!

  25. Don't say no

    Link to Android? You must be joking. My W10 was updated and gave me the "great news, you can now connect to you android ...." I spent most of two evenings on chat with Microsoft (well, it was three evenings because it took them two hours to reply) only to find that their help person only deals with Apple products and couldn't really help. . She "tried" to help me connect my W10 pc (latest update) to my Android phone but failed miserably - I'm minded to charge Microsoft with my phone bill.

    Eventually at 4am next day I got the phone to mirrror the Outlook calendar but now, next day, it has gone all pearshaped again. This seems typical of Microsoft; I think it is 13 times that I have been forced to change my password because they couldn't recognise the one I put in (on occasion 5 minutes before). It got worse - when I put in as the new password the password they refused then they refused that on the grounds that it had been used previously.

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