As an Android user, I have always been jealous of iOS users that own a Mac, as iMessage is pretty much awesome. The ability to send and receive text messages from your phone or PC and keep them in sync is the dream. I actually lived it for many years as an Android user when I was went all in on Google Voice and after that Google Fi. As long as I had a browser I could easily text or even place a phone call and my phone was aware of everything that was happening. Then late last year I made the big jump over to T-Mobile and switch completely off Google Voice to standard text messaging.
Messages to the Rescue?
Google had introduced Messages for web and that got me pretty excited that I could get the same features in the browser that I used to have.
Well, after a few weeks I never found myself opening the messages web page as my experience seemed to be pretty unreliable. Sometimes text messages would send, sometimes they wouldn't, and sometimes things would just top pairing.
Enter Windows 10 & Your Phone
There have been many attempts to bring your Android phone to the desktop over the years, but I never got into them until now with "Your Phone & Your Phone Companion".
I remember when Microsoft announced the product that promised to bring text massaging and your photos from your Android device to your Windows 10 desktop. It seemed exactly what I wanted, but I needed to get the latest Windows 10 update... so I waited... and now I have it... and I LOVE IT.
The best part here from everything that I have found is that the Your Phone app gets your recent texts, photos, and notifications from your mobile phone over Wi-Fi, but it does not store anything online.
After you pair your devices everything just starts to sync up, and you can easily receive and send text messages from your Windows desktop. You of course can also send and receive attachments, and everything just sort of works.
When a new message comes in the app icon gets a nice little badge so you can see it while using other apps, which I think is my favorite feature.
A unique feature of the app is that is shows you your last 25 photos. This is a pretty nice feature to be able to see what is in your camera roll and click on it to go full size. I use Google Photos so things are usually synced up and available at any time, but it is a nice touch.
This is a newer feature of the app, but you can receive and dismiss notifications from the app directly. I really enjoy not having to pick up my phone to see what is going on and of course dismiss everything with a single tap.
The biggest feature of the entire Your Phone experience is that once you get it working, it just seems to work. Of course with any of these technologies (even Google's Messages for Web), your mileage may vary and you may have hiccups. I wouldn't even blame it on Wi-Fi or cellular connections, but probably blame it on the vast array of Android devices that exist in the world and being able to have a 100% consistent experience is really hard.
On my Pixel 2 XL I have had a really good experience and only ever once in a while do I have to press the manual refresh button to get things syncing again. Although, I will say that I don't mind it too much because I probably don't need all this info immediately at all times.
More Features on the Way
I like that this app already has more features than Google's own web app and there is even more on the way. The Your Phone team just rolled out built-in screen mirroring for select devices. I couldn't try this out just yet since I don't have a Samsung device, but I hope it makes it to the Pixel line!
I hope you give Your Phone a chance as I really really like it and I think you will too! If there are other apps that you use for this functionality then let me know in the comments below <3