Trying something new…
Every so often you find an app that fundamentally changes how you use your phone. Some of those apps quickly make it into the mainstream and are covered excessively by tech media, while others can often sit in a small, but vocal niche. I thought it would be fun to share some of those lesser known niche apps with you in the form of a mini review and see what you think. Who knows, maybe you will find them as useful as I do.
First up, an app from a little known company in the Seattle area, Microsoft.
What is Your Phone?
You Phone is a take on other services that have existed, or still exist like Push Bullet or Air Droid, but with a far more modern and simplistic approach. It also has one major advantage over its predecessors, Windows 10 and nearly a billion users. Essentially, it is a link to your phone from your Windows 10 PC.
The app allows you to do the following
- View camera roll
- Send and receive SMS text messages
- View phone notifications
The camera roll function as of this writing is currently limited to the last 25 photos on your phone, but Microsoft is currently rolling up an update that will remove that restriction, allowing you to view the last 2,000 images stored on the phone.
Sending and receiving SMS from your PC has been possible for sometime thanks to Google’s Messages app and browser tie-in, but having it nested inside a dedicated application is great.
The phone notifications feature is a bit lacking, since you cannot interact with the notification, but at the very least it allows for a quick triage of a notification to see if picking up your phone is actually required. In the future I would like to see some changes allowing me to interact with some notifications that support it on the phone. For example, I use Asana for work, and can comment on a mention via the notification on on the phone. Being able to do this from the Your Phone app would be a greatly appreciated addition.
It may sound kind of limited, but being able to see and interact with these core functions of my phone has done wonders for productivity. I am one of those people who spends entirely way too much time picking up my phone just for the sake of it, to check and see if I have anything that needs my attention. Often times, there is something to action, but there are many times throughout the day where I pick up and unlock my phone for no reason at all.
Your Phone is also receiving a major update as I write this that will enable users to interact with phone calls coming from your phone. This is a great addition and one I am really looking forward to. The fewer times a day that I need to take my hands off my mouse and keyboard, the more I can done.
Once the update is live on You Phone users will be able to do the following phone related tasks;
- Answer incoming calls on your PC
- Initiate a phone call form your PC with the You Phone Windows 10 apps phone dialer or from your contact list
- Reject calls and send a predefined text to the caller
- Reject a call, and send it to voicemail
- See recent call history
- Transfer calls from your PC to your phone and vise versa (this one really excites me)
- Click to call from the web on your PC
For an app that has already changed the entire way I work with my phone during the day, these call features easily make this one of the most useful apps I have ever used, and certainly on of my favourites.
You Phone is currently only available on Android, and due to the locked-down nature of Apple, will likely never be available on that platform. So if you’re using Android 7.0 or above, and running Windows 10 you should consider giving Your Phone a try. Now, if you spend little to no time in front of a PC, this app won’t be much use for you, but users such as myself will find this app to be incredibly useful.
Where Can You Get You Phone?
What do think of Your Phone? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!