Microsoft does not seem real committed to its own Windows Phone platform these days (no matter what it says publicly), but it is acutely aware that smartphones have become a part of everyday life, with Android representing the most popular mobile platform in the world. In recognition of this, the latest Windows Insider Preview (build 16251) lets you link your phone to your PC, the company announced in a blog post.
The new build is focuses on cross-device web browsing and Microsoft is asking Insiders to lend a helping hand by testing the experience with their Android phones. Support for iPhone handsets is not included in this build, though Microsoft is working on it and says it will be available "very soon."
Microsoft seems to have made the process of linking an Android phone to PC pretty easy. There is a dedicated section in the Settings menu called Phone. Users who want to try out the feature need to navigate there and add their phone. Microsoft will then send an SMS text message with a link to install a test application "Microsoft Apps" for Android. Once that is installed, the link between the phone and PC will enable cross-browsing.
Once everything is set, if you find yourself on a website on your phone that you want to view on your PC, all you have to do is invoke the native share experience on your handset and share the website to the "Continue on PC" option. Microsoft says in some cases you may need to click the "..." or more to add the test app to your share menu.
You will also need to sign into your Microsoft account once invoking the share experience. Microsoft says to be sure to use the same account on both your phone and PC. Once you share a website with your PC, you can choose between "Continue now" or "Continue later," depending on when you want to view the site. If you choose the former, it will automatically open on your PC. And if you choose the latter, it will show up under Action Center so you can access it whenever you're ready.
Also new in the latest build is that you can get web results in Cortana without opening a browser. For certain questions, the Cortana pane will automatically expand and show what it is you were looking for, such as movies, celebrities, stock prices, weather, flight status, and so forth.
Cortana has also learned a few new commands. With the latest build, you can bark commands at Cortana to "restart PC," "turn off PC," "sign out," and "lock PC."
Everything else included in the build is fairly minor. There are some input improvements, enhancements to the Edge browser, and the enabling of the Game Bar by default for some games.