Windows 10 is here. There’s so much about it that we can’t possibly tell you everything about it in one sitting. So instead you’ll get bit by bit updates of the key features we use and love about Windows 10 in coming days. To start us off is a small application that plays a very key role: making it less of a hassle transferring files to and from your mobile devices.
While Microsoft was previously busy pushing its own Windows ecosystem, thanks to various changes in its approach to a fast-changing world, it is embracing just about anyone with a working device. Be it a desktop computer or a smartphone. That’s the whole point Windows 10 is around in the first place. And the approach? Mobile-first. As a result, there’s the Phone Companion application in Windows 10 that does as its name insinuates: becomes your phone’s companion. Every phone. Windows Phone. Android. iOS.
If you’ve just upgraded using the Get Windows app, forced the update using the many workarounds available or even just finished performing a clean install using the ISO file Microsoft has provided, Phone Companion may be on the Most Used section of the Windows 10 start menu. If it’s not there then make a point of searching for it or ask Cortana! Or just find it on the Windows Store if for some strange reason it’s not there at all.
While previously you just plugged in a device and switched to Windows Explorer to just do whatever it is that you wanted, the Phone Companion application attempts to make things easier for you. Yes you can still go the old school way of going to My Computer (This PC on Windows 10) to do the same thing, Phone Companion makes it easier. Just connect your [insert name here] Android smartphone, Microsoft Lumia [insert model number here] or iPhone and the rest is easy. Not that it was complicated before. Let’s say it’s just a little less cumbersome.
There’s one more thing: Phone Companion will let you install the various applications Microsoft has developed for your device’s respective platform and walk you through how to get up and running. That will range from anything like the Office apps available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store to the upcoming Cortana on the same app stores. Easy. All in one place.
The worst bit about all this is that you still need to plug in your USB cable for the file transfers and other device management tasks to happen (it’s not needed for app installation) but since the app will also let you simply charge the device as you’ve always done, it doesn’t hurt. Some of us are so used to Pushbullet for transferring just about anything between our smartphones and our PCs but since that limits to 25 MB per file, that can only go so far. At times you need to get real stuff done. For that, the Phone Companion application comes in handy. It may not be such a big application or feature to warrant a blanket recommendation to upgrade to Windows 10 and neither will Windows Insiders be bemused by its abilities but it is one of those little things that you’ll set up and thank yourself later for taking your time to do just that.