Microsoft's Phone App Challenge to iMessage and FaceTime
Reports from online tech commentators indicate that Microsoft will soon be enhancing its Your Phone app with the ability to make phone calls from a desktop PC, thereby making the app a serious challenger to Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime.
The Your Phone App
Microsoft’s Your Phone desktop App connects your phone to your PC thereby giving you access to your phone’s notifications, photos and texts while working on your PC. Giving the desktop Phone App the details of your phone (Android or Apple, phone number) means that you receive a download link to the ‘Phone Companion’ via SMS text.
Installing the Phone Companion on your mobile enables you to sync your phone with your PC e.g. an Android phone with Windows 10 PC. This gives instant access to your phone on your PC so that you can reply to texts at your PC and instantly receive photos on your PC that have been taken on the phone.
Making Calls – Challenging Apple's iCloud Integrations
The addition of being able to dial a number, search your phone contacts and make a call directly from your PC is an important enhancement that could make Microsoft’s Your Phone desktop App a serious challenger to Apple's iCloud integrations on macOS.
Apple Mac users can currently use these to send messages from their desktop using iMessage and can also make voice and video calls using FaceTime.
'Use Phone' Button
The enhanced Your Phone App from Microsoft will include a 'Use Phone' button that can send a call back from the PC (microphone and speakers) to the handset, thereby enabling more privacy and/or shutting out any distracting background noise e.g. keyboard noises and noises from home working.
A full-feature Your Phone App would most likely be of maximum value to those workers who need to be in front of the desktop for long periods of time with minimal distractions although, arguably, messages and notifications popping up on the screen could be less easy to ignore than if they’d been quietly arriving on the phone in corner.
The Your Phone app could also be of use to workers in a situation where too much obvious interaction with their handset in the workplace is frowned upon and where visual monitoring and supervision is particularly intense.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For Microsoft, this improvement to the Your Phone desktop App, which has been around for some time, gives it much greater potential value to users and gives Microsoft another way to seriously compete with its rival Apple.
For any business users who are typically tied to the PC for most of the time the ability to handle all phone matters on the desktop adds value in terms of convenience, possible time savings, and fewer distractions.