One of the reasons we keep our phones out at work is to quickly and surreptitiously reply to a text or a phone call. With Microsoft’s new beta build of Windows 10 Mobile, we can put them back in our pockets.
With Build 14327 of Windows 10 Mobile for the Fast Ring of Windows Insiders, Microsoft has added its Messaging Everywhere Preview, an early look at a capability to send and receive texts while seated at your Windows 10 PC, rather than via your phone. The only loss in this build is Skype integration in its Messaging app, preparing for you for Skype’s eventual transformation into a separate Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app.
Here’s how Messaging Everywhere should work: Download the build, then make sure you’ve signed in with your Microsoft account on both your phone and your PC. You’ll need to confirm your Messaging app on your PC connects to your phone, via the Settings. If it all goes as expected, new texts sent your phone should pop up as Action Center notifications that you can reply to within the notification itself.
The only hitch, as mentioned above, is that Skype messaging is no longer integrated into the Messaging app. Microsoft said you can use the previous Skype for Windows Phone app within the Windows Store.
The other feature of note within the new build is the addition of Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil) and French (Canada) languages for Cortana. This includes voice input as well.
Microsoft has also fixed several bugs, including one where Facebook Messenger wouldn’t launch from the All Apps screen, and another where the phone would become unresponsive if the screen was quickly power-cycled using the power button.
The build has also introduced some bugs, including crashing the Camera app when going into your camera roll, a bug that prevents Tweetium from launching, and an apps bug that shows apps hanging on a “Pending” status when in fact they’ve been installed and a usable on the phone.
Why this matters: As we’ve noted before, any new feature enhancements give a much-needed boost to Windows Phone, which Microsoft sort of threw under the bus at Build. Integrating the phone, tablet, and PC was the whole point of Windows 10, and being able to text from your PC is a nice example of this design goal made real.