One of the handy features in Windows 10 is the Phone Companion app, which allows you to easily configure your mobile device to access and work with applications and data you normally use on your Windows 10 PC. More specifically, the Phone Companion app assists you in setting up a number of Windows 10 applications on Apple iPhones/iPads, Android phones and tablets, and of course, the Windows Phone. The Windows 10 applications include Cortana, Skype, OneNote, and the rest of the Office suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. You'll also be able to access photos and music files from OneDrive.
To see how Phone Companion works, let's suppose that you have an iPhone and you want to use Phone Companion to set up OneNote. (The setup procedure will be almost identical regardless of which mobile device or Windows 10 application you select.) Let's take a look at the steps involved in the process.
What you'll need
To make the setup procedure as easy as possible, you'll want to be signed into Windows 10 using a Microsoft Account. You'll also need to have a OneDrive account set up and ready to go. Have your mobile device on hand and make sure that it is running the latest version of its respective OS. And finally, you must have an email account set up on your mobile device as well as an account on your device's app store.
The Phone Companion app is built directly into Windows 10. So to run it, click Start and begin typing Phone Companion. When Phone Companion appears in the results list, as shown in Figure A, just select it.
The Phone Companion app comes with Windows 10.
When the app launches, you'll see the first Phone Companion screen, shown in Figure B, which prompts you to select your mobile platform. For our example, we'll select iPhone Or iPad.
You'll first choose your mobile platform.
The second Phone Companion screen, shown in Figure C, lets you select the applications you want to set up. For our example, we'll select OneNote.
Choose which Windows 10 applications you want to set up.
Once you select an application, Phone Companion will identify that you are signed into your Windows 10 system with a Microsoft Account and prompt you to confirm, as shown in Figure D.
Phone Companion will ask you to verify your Microsoft Account.
Setting up your application
As soon as you verify your Microsoft account, you'll be prompted to begin the procedure of getting the OneNote app for the iPhone, as shown in Figure E. While you can install the application from the iTunes App Store using the standard search and download procedure, Phone Companion makes things just a bit simpler. It allows you to send yourself an email message containing a link to instantly begin the download on your iPhone. To do this, first fill in an email address that is accessible on your iPhone and click Next.
You'll send yourself a link to begin the download on your iPhone.
The second screen, shown in Figure F, directs you to move over to your iPhone. Just leave this screen open on your PC. You'll return to it once you complete the steps on your iPhone.
You'll be instructed to move over to your iPhone.
Now, on your iPhone, locate and open the email message, as shown in Figure G. To continue, click the link.
The email contains instructions and a link to the app in the iTunes App Store.
You'll then be taken directly to the OneNote download in the iTunes App Store, as shown in Figure H. To continue, tap Get. When the download and install are complete, tap Open.
You'll download and install the OneNote app on your iPhone.
When you open OneNote, you'll be prompted to sign in using your Microsoft Account, as shown in Figure I. After the standard verification procedure, your notebooks will be synced up and you'll be able to access all the notes that you have created in Windows 10.
Sign in using your Microsoft Account.
To complete the procedure, return to your Windows 10 PC and the second Phone Companion screen and click Next. You'll then see Phone Companion's third and final screen, shown in Figure J.
Return to your PC and complete the Phone Companion wizard.
What's your take?
Have you used Phone Companion to set up Windows 10 applications on your mobile device? How well did it work? Share your experiences and advice with fellow TechRepublic members.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.