Microsoft announced Your Phone app at Build conference, but did not reveal a lot of detail on the app. In speaking to the press some more information has however become available, revealing some limitations of the app which has not been apparent before.
Firstly the app would need both devices to be on the same WIFI network, which is both good and bad news. The same WIFI network should help with performance and security, but it may also mean your phone would need to have access to the same WIFI network as your PC, which can be a problem in an enterprise or educational setting.
Update: One of the program managers confirmed this is not the case, which removes a significant barrier to usage.
This is not accurate "Firstly the app would need both devices to be on the same WIFI network, which is both good and bad news." it works better on same but not required
— Vishnu Nath (@VishnuNath) May 10, 2018
Additionally, iPhones will also need to be connected via Bluetooth, likely to tap into the notification stream. iPhones will only support photo and notification sync, but will not be able to access text messages.
For Android devices, only the last month of text messages will be synced, and the last 25 photos for iOS and Android. The information will, however, be cached locally and still be available when you disconnect your phone.
“Apple does make it a tad harder for messages, but we’re very willing to work with Apple,” said Microsoft’s Shilpa Ranganathan, but Microsoft was hoping to be allowed to bring iMessage to Windows once day. Microsoft was also looking to support taking phone calls on your PC, with Ranganathan saying “I know people have asked for calling and dialling as well, that’s something that has been on our radar as well.”
One of the main attractions of the new app is the ability to open photos directly on your PC and start working on it. When you open the app, you will get three main options namely Notifications, Photos, and Messages. Notifications will show your phone notifications on PC while Photos and messages tabs will let users interact with it. For example, you could directly select a photo you received on your phone and start editing it on your PC. You can also drag and drop photos from your Phone to apps like Powerpoint. You can also open photos directly from the notifications or use any Windows App to open and edit them.
The Your Phone app will be available soon for Windows Insiders and will roll out later for everyone.