For many, especially those who find themselves working from home or on the road, the smartphone is used as an extension of the personal computer. Information created or consumed on the smartphone is shared with the PC and vice versa. This interactive connectivity has many uses and generally increases productivity—it’s practically second nature for much of the modern workforce.
In Microsoft Windows 10 the connection between the smartphone and the computer can be used to share pages displayed on your favorite web browser. The webpages are shared between devices using a tool called Continue on PC. This tool can be accessed by connecting your smartphone to your PC and then installing the Microsoft Phone Companion app.
SEE: Acceptable computer use during a pandemic policy (TechRepublic Premium)
Connect your smartphone to Windows 10
The first step in this process is to connect your smartphone to your PC, which is possible for both Android and iOS devices. We presented a tutorial on how to connect an Android smartphone to Windows 10 back in 2018, but we are making one change to those step-by-step instructions.
Instead of installing the Microsoft Launcher, we are going to install the Microsoft Phone Companion app, shown in Figure A.
Both apps include the Continue on PC tool, but the Phone Companion app will allow us to take advantage of connected devices without also altering the layout of our smartphone the way Microsoft Launcher does.
SEE: How to connect an Android smartphone to Microsoft Windows 10 (TechRepublic)
In 2018, Microsoft only offered Launcher as its smartphone connection app. In 2020, Microsoft offers several options. You may have to scroll down the Google Play page to find Phone Companion, but it will be there in the list of available Microsoft apps.
Continue on PC in Windows 10
Now, that your smartphone and Windows 10 PC are connected, you can use the Continue on PC feature to “throw” a webpage you are viewing on one device over to the other device. As you can see in Figure B, the Edge browser on my Android smartphone is displaying the TechRepublic website.
Touching the share button in the bottom right-hand corner offers several choices, including the option to Continue on PC. When you tap that icon, you will be given a list of connected PCs, as shown in Figure C.
Choose which computer you want to use and the web browser on your Windows 10 PC will start and then display the website in question automatically. Alternatively, you may wish to send your PC a notification with a link to the website, which you can then access at your leisure.
SEE: How to make and receive phone calls through your Windows 10 PC (TechRepublic)
The Continue feature works in the opposite direction as well, where you share the URL of a website displayed in your PC web browser with your connected smartphone. Sharing in this direction can come in handy when you need to view a specific website while on the road or in a remote location and don’t want to thumb type the URL.
Microsoft Phone Companion app
The Microsoft Phone Companion app (Figure D) also allows you to control your smartphone from the computer, view and manage the photos taken by your smartphone, attend to your SMS messages, and manage notifications.
For security purposes, each function requires you to grant specific permission to access your device’s data.