Microsoft is getting ready to release the hotly anticipated Android screen mirroring feature it debuted last year.
Microsoft began testing an update for its Your Phone app that will let you see and use apps from your Android phone on a Windows 10 PC or desktop. The feature is available in beta for Windows Insiders running Windows Builds 1803 or newer, as announced by a Microsoft Agent on the company's Community forums (opens in new tab).
"You can now mirror your Android phone’s screen directly on your PC without having to dig for your phone," the post reads.
Windows 10 users will be able to pair their phones and mirror content onto a Windows 10 PC when the feature is widely released. A list of apps will appear and you'll be able to click and interact with them without ever having to open your phone. Microsoft showed how you could engage in a Snapchat conversation from a Windows 10 laptop when it first announced the feature at its Surface event last year.
Take note, however, that PCs will need to support Bluetooth with Low Energy Peripheral mode to use the feature since this is how the two devices will interface with each other.
To check if your Windows 10 device supports the low-energy Bluetooth mode, open the device manager by right-clicking the Start menu. From there, select and expand Bluetooth options and press on your laptop's specific Bluetooth driver or adapter. Then double click Properties and find the Details tab. Once you're there, select Bluetooth Radio Supports Low Energy Peripheral Role from the drop-down menu. If the value is True, then your device supports the feature.
Phone screen is currently only compatible with Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones running Android 7.0 or newer and Microsoft's Surface Go tablet. Microsoft has promised to expand the list of compatible smartphones and PCs over time.
Microsoft still hasn't announced an official release date for the feature, and it's not clear whether iPhone support is coming in the future (we doubt it).
While the feature will enable screen mirror across all Windows devices, many laptop makers already offer their own solution. For example, Dell's Mobile Connect lets Android and iOS users make calls, send text, get notifications and interact with mobile apps from their Dell laptop. Similarly, Samsung's Flow app lets you view contents from your smartphone on a PC or tablet.