I got the 1809 update yesterday. I looked at some of the features but today was day one using them. The Your Phone feature is one that I am interested in. Please don’t ask why, I really can’t tell you, but I’m intrigued by the idea of Microsoft being able to help with my communication from my computer through my phone. Cool idea if nothing else.
Right now Your Phone is very limited. It will show some recent pictures and it should allow you to use messaging. I say should because mine didn’t work. I could send a message, but I would never get the response. Sort of a one-sided conversation and that isn’t cool.
I use a Pixel XL, and I am a Project Fi customer. Oops! Project Fi recently became Google Fi! I love the service. I recently traveled to Australia and if for no other reason, you should use Google Fi if you are an international traveler. I rarely travel, but it worked great, and there were no additional fees. Google Fi is now working with most Android phones and iPhones, so it is worth a look.
I use Hangouts for my messaging app, and even though Google Fi recommends the built-in Messages app, the last time I tried getting off Hangouts it didn’t work out. No matter what I did Hangouts would get my messages, so I gave up and just used Hangouts.
So everything about the Your Phone app on Windows 10 was working. Phone connected. I saw recent pictures, but I could only send messages. Bummer! I did a bunch of research and nobody seems to be talking about my combination of issues. Google Fi, Hangouts, and Your Phone.
Microsoft has a bunch of solutions to solve issues, but none of them worked for me. In the back of my mind, I knew it had to be a Hangouts issue. This is a strange beast of a program, and it is not a standard messaging app. Microsoft also references using the built-in messaging app, so I thought I would give it a go.
I researched dumping Hangouts and figured it would give me trouble like before. Open Hangouts > Settings > Account > Turn off Messages. This sits under an area that reads “Project Fi calls and SMS – your phone number”.
I sent a text message to myself, and it worked inside of Messages. Hangouts didn’t get in the way. That’s new! Like I said, the last time I tried this, Hangouts got my messages. It also showed up on the Your Phone app on my Windows 10 machine. Maybe I am getting somewhere. I sent my wife a text and she responded. It works!
From what I can gather, the Google Fi/Hangouts combination just simply doesn’t work with Your Phone on Windows 10. I have been wanting to get off of Hangouts for a while, so I am going to see how this goes.
I should also point out that Messages has “Messages for web” feature. This feature will allow you to send and receive messages on your computer, like Hangouts did, in a browser window on your computer.
If you want to enable this, simply go to https://messages.android.com on your computer.
Scan the QR code with the QR code scanner inside of the Messages app. You will find this in Messages > 3 dot menu, Messages for web. The process is very quick and now you can use https://messages.android.com/ to deal with messaging in a browser window.
I like the idea of the Your Phone app running on the OS, so I am a fan of what Microsoft is doing here. I should tell you that the app still states that Messages is in preview, so it isn’t really ready for prime time yet.
That said, it appears to work, and fairly quick. Communications work both ways, and it does work with the built-in Messages app on Android phones. If you love Hangouts, then you may need to wait for an update or maybe wait forever for this feature to work.
I have only one complaint about Microsoft and this product. Why the hell did you name it “Your Phone”? Searching for help on this is impossible. Try searching for “Issues with Your Phone?” or “Hangouts and Your Phone”. Good luck with that!
Besides the name, I like the app and I think what Microsoft is doing, allowing the OS to work with devices, is very cool. Keep going Microsoft, but really, can you change the name?