How to create a complete Microsoft experience on Android
Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform may also effectively be dead at this point, however, don’t melancholy: You can nonetheless get a great Microsoft revel in on your cell device. You have to appear to an unlikely bedfellow. With Windows Phone (a.Okay.A. Windows 10 Mobile) out of the image, Microsoft devotes an ever-increasing quantity of power to creating its personal mini-platform within Google’s Android atmosphere. And given Android’s sizeable flexibility and customization capability, that opens the door to a few quite compelling opportunities. With the right set of apps, in truth, you may basically create a Windows-centric surrounding on any Android device — with the entirety of the offerings you love to the phone-to-PC harmony you crave.
Home display screen
The core of your Android setup is your property display screen — and the app that’ll flip it into a hub on your Microsoft-Android enjoy is the aptly named Microsoft Launcher.
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On the surface, Microsoft Launcher has the same kinds of functions you may locate in other Android launchers — the standard gear for customizing your property display screen’s look, growing gesture-primarily based shortcuts, and so forth. But beyond that, it provides a hefty dose of Microsoft into the combination, with Bing-powered search (by using the default), one-tap gets admission to Cortana and outstanding placement of endorsed Microsoft apps.
Meanwhile, to the left of the primary home screen panel sits Microsoft’s take on the Google Feed — a card-based collection containing items including news, climate, agenda info, and glances at your notes, duties, and recent documents from the appropriate Microsoft services. You may even ship a document at once from there for your PC and have it pop up straight away the usage of the incorporated “Continue on PC” alternative, supplied your computer has the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update set up.
Missing the Windows Phone look? Try SquareHome 2. The launcher — which isn’t virtually advanced through Microsoft — emulates the tile-centric “Metro UI” from the Windows Phone platform. Of course, you’ll sacrifice the tight integration with Microsoft offerings furnished via the legit Microsoft Launcher; however, if your telephone’s interface is a top precedence, you would possibly be glad about the tradeoff (even if handiest for an occasional bit of weekend nostalgia).
Notifications and activities
For full PC-to-cellphone synchronization, you will want to make certain to hyperlink your Android telephone to Windows by following the steps within the Phone section of your pc’s Windows 10 settings (assuming you’ve got the Fall Creators Update). You’ll additionally want to get the standalone Android Cortana app, which has masses of overlap with the Microsoft Launcher but affords a chain of controls in its settings that’ll let your smartphone’s notifications appear for your PC. That’ll permit you to acquire and reply to texts and even see neglected calls right from the Windows 10 Action Center.
There’s more to come back in this front, too: Microsoft is on the brink of releasing a new Windows update. It’s expected to add a slew of sparkling PC-to-phone connectivity features. A factor known as Timeline will store snapshots of your development in one-of-a-kind apps and then let you pick out up precisely wherein you left off on other gadgets — starting to your computing device and then moving for your smartphone, as an instance, or vice versa. Another predicted detail would create a cloud clipboard that’d let you copy the text on one tool and then paste it on every other. That update, believed to be dubbed “Spring Creators Update,” is expected to arrive using April.
Download Microsoft Edge. The move-platform browser will come up with a decidedly Microsoft-like framework for net surfing — one which’ll be surprisingly constant out of your cell tool for your computing device pc. Like the launcher, Edge makes it smooth to transport content between your telephone and PC (assuming, again, that your computer has the Fall Creators Update). Beyond that, it mechanically syncs your history, favorites, and studying list — an integrated device for saving articles to read later — so that you can seamlessly flow among specific gadgets.
Microsoft’s OneDrive is built into Windows 10 — and with multiple taps, it can be constructed into your Android tool, too. So grab the OneDrive app and have clean constantly-synced get admission to on your files, irrespective of how you could roam.
Microsoft’s Office apps on Android have come a protracted way. These days, the Android variations of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are absolutely featured, polished, and fine to use. Plus, in case you’re already dwelling in Microsoft’s universe, they may provide you with a totally regular experience together with your desktop-primarily based software program and permit you to work for your files from any tool without the need for conversions or modifications.
(Note that you may want a lively Office 365 subscription if you want to make use of all of the apps’ capabilities — and to use them at all for enhancing on any massive-screen cellular gadgets.) Don’t overlook, too, that Outlook and OneNote are both available on Android. So if you’re the usage of either application to your Windows computer, you’ll possibly appreciate having it on your Android smartphone.
Cortana is part of Microsoft’s Android launcher. However, a launcher is applicable handiest while you’re on your real domestic display. With a short visit on your device’s settings, you may set Cortana to function your device’s default assistant — and for this reason, be handy through the same systemwide instructions normally occupied by using Google Assistant (which include pressing and conserving your Home key, on many Android gadgets).
Start by establishing the Apps phase of your gadget settings, then scrolling down till you see the road classified “Default apps.” (You may first need to tap a line labeled “Advanced” to get that to appear.) Next, tap “Assist & voice enter,” then tap “Assist app” and choose Cortana — the only one with a microphone in its icon — from the listing. And there you have got it: Microsoft’s gentle-voiced virtual girl will be at your beck and call, anywhere and each time you want her.
Want to use Cortana via default without installing the Microsoft Launcher? Please make certain you have the standalone Microsoft Cortana app established, then comply with the equal steps defined above but pick out the Cortana with a circle in its icon. The standalone Cortana app also has options for creating a floating Cortana button that’ll seem on your house screen and lock screen, ought to such possibilities intrigue you.
Got a latest Samsung Galaxy phone? If you want to remap that silly Bixby button so it will pull up Cortana, strive the 1/3-celebration Bixby Button Remapper app. It’s unfastened with an optionally available $2.Ninety-nine in-app improve that’ll help you hold the button from being pressed by accident at the same time as your telephone’s to your pocket.
Make your life a touch less complicated and let your phone serve as the important thing on your Windows 10 computer with the Microsoft Authenticator app. The authenticator can act as an ordinary two-thing authentication code generator; however, it also has the capability to permit you to keep away from getting into your Microsoft password absolutely and as an alternative, authorize get entry to for your computer without a doubt by using unlocking your smartphone and approving a notification.