Why Windows Insiders are seeing Android notifications on their PCs

Windows 10 Mobile is still unpopular, so Microsoft's trying to keep a hand in by offering services and apps to Android and iOS.

google vs cortana vs hound
Credit: Derek Walter

Cortana’s deep link between Android phones and Windows 10 is starting to roll out to users on beta builds of Windows 10. Or at least, users who have access to an early beta build of Cortana—officially or otherwise.

Users on Reddit say they are seeing the ability to receive and dismiss Android notifications on their Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft first tipped this feature in April during Build 2016.

The new feature is supposed to be available to Windows Insiders who also have the latest beta build of the Cortana app. If you're not part of the Cortana for Android test program you should be able to find the correct version, in unofficial form, on sites like APK Mirror. Installing an APK outside of the Play Store is done at your own risk, however, and should only be attempted by advanced users.

Non-Windows Insiders will have to wait until the Anniversary Update rolls out later this summer for the functionality. At least that’s the assumption. During Build Microsoft only said the new feature would roll out to a “future version of Windows.” Now that it’s showing up in test builds, it’s a good bet Android notifications will land on your PC with the Anniversary Update.

The story behind the story: Microsoft’s own mobile platform, Windows 10 Mobile, is basically non-existent in terms of market share and relevance. That’s why Microsoft has tried to keep a hand in the mobile sphere by branching out, offering some of its services and apps to Android and iOS. Integrating Android notifications with Windows 10 is another example of this. The notifications functionality is also expected to come to Windows 10 Mobile, but it won’t land on iOS due to the tight restrictions Apple places on its mobile platform.

[via The Verge]

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