Microsoft recently announced that it was doing a bit of re-branding.
The company’s apps that connect Android and iPhones to your Windows PC were formally called “Your Phone.” Under the new re-naming scheme, those apps will now be called “Phone Link.”
Hand in hand with that change, Microsoft is also re-naming the mobile companion app, which you now know as “Your Phone Companion.” That’s going away and it will be restyled as simply “Link to Windows.”
The “Your Phone” app was launched just three years ago which doesn’t seem like enough time to warrant a rebrand. However, the company hasn’t shed any light on the thinking that lies behind the decision.
In any case, when it was originally launched, Microsoft envisioned it as a means for users to access the texts, photos, and apps on their phones from the comfort of their PCs. With that original vision in mind, the newly re-styled apps will get an updated interface that looks a bit more like Windows 11.
Support for previous iterations was somewhat limited, but the original “Your Phone” app worked seamlessly with most Samsung devices and was compatible with Microsoft’s own Surface Duo dual-screen.
With the recent changes, Microsoft is also adding support for several Honor phones to Phone Link. All that’s fine as far as it goes but in some ways this feels a bit like a solution looking for a problem. That is, at least for Google Pixel users.
Pixel users are likely already accessing their text messages from their PCs (which is probably the single biggest draw in terms of functionality) via Google Messages. Given the less than seamless experience with the former “Your Phone” app, there’s little incentive to change even with the improvements to the user experience. Although the company may have more luck drawing in non-Pixel users.
In any case, if you’re not a Pixel user and you’re looking for a way to access the messages and apps from your phone on your desktop, you may want to check out Microsoft’s latest on that front.