For many businesses, the modern workforce is mobile, and smartphone-carrying. Employees are expected to get work done while they are on the move. Ideas are brainstormed, working teams are formed, collaborative documents are started, and email is exchanged, all from the confines of a smartphone.
But once that workforce reaches the office, the work performed on the mobile device must be transferred to the desktop. With ubiquitous cloud computing that transfer process is relatively easy, however, employees will often have to navigate to the working point where they left off on their smartphone.
Connecting your Android smartphone to your Microsoft Windows 10 workstation can simplify the transfer of working environments even more by allowing employees to resume work exactly where they left off on their smartphone. This quick tutorial shows you how to connect your Android smartphone to Windows 10 using the free tool located in the settings menu.
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Connecting your phone
Open the Settings screen by right-clicking the Start button and navigating to the Settings item in the list. From the Settings screen, click the Phone entry. You should see something that looks like Figure A.
Click the Add a phone link to start the connection process. Note, you will need an internet connection and a Microsoft login for this to work. As you can see in Figure B, Microsoft will be sending an application to your Android smartphone, so you need to provide your phone number. Click the Send button and then check your text messages.
Click the link in the text message (Figure C), press the install button and wait for process to complete. When the app is installed, you will be asked if you want to switch from your Android app launcher to the Microsoft Launcher you just installed.
When you open the Microsoft Launcher the first time, it will go through a quick setup process (Figure D) and ask you to sign in using your Microsoft login credentials. It will then ask for permission to access other apps on your smartphone.
With the Microsoft Launcher active, you can get quick access to Microsoft specific applications like Outlook, OneNote, and Excel (Figure E). More importantly, you can send the work you do on your Android smartphone directly to your Windows 10 desktop, so you never lose time searching for your last stopping point.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
It is important to note that switching to the Microsoft Launcher completely changes the interface of your smartphone. If you are used to, and comfortable with, the way the Android interface works, the switch may be a shock to the system and take a while to master. Connecting your smartphone in this way is a commitment and will tie you into the Microsoft ecosystem, but it may be well worth it depending on your work environment and habits.
If you later decide you want to unlink your Android smartphone, navigate back to the Phone app in Windows 10 and click the appropriate link. You can also switch back to the Android interface on your smartphone at any time by clicking the Home button. Perhaps you want to use Android for personal tasks and the Microsoft Launcher for work activity?
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What do you think of the Microsoft Launcher? Do you prefer it over the standard Android smartphone interface? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.