How Windows 10 Works With Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone

Microsoft brings Cortana and OneDrive to iOS and Android

Windows 10 Android iOS

In 2018, Microsoft launched the Universal Windows Platform so that Windows apps would look and run identically on any device, whether it's a desktop PC or a Windows Phone. This update, along with the Cortana and OneDrive apps, make it possible to sync Windows 10 with your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Information in this article applies to most Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones.

Windows 10 Your Phone App for iOS and Android

Microsoft's Your Phone app for Windows 10 (formerly known as Phone Companion) is designed to help you connect and set up your Windows phone (now discontinued), Android phone, or iPhone to Windows. It installs Microsoft apps that keep your phone and your PC in sync including:

  • OneDrive
  • Microsoft Office
  • Outlook
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Photos

With the Your Phone app, not only can you access Windows 10 apps from your phone, but you can also read text messages and make calls on your computer.

Microsoft OneDrive for iOS and Android

OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud storage service. Your OneDrive is tied to your Microsoft account, and it automatically saves your photos, music, and other files remotely so that you can access them on any device. OneDrive users get 5G of free storage, but a subscription to Office 365 comes with 1TB of storage for up to five users.

For example, once you set up the Your Phone app and OneDrive on you iOS and Android phone, any changes you make to a Microsoft Word document will instantly take effect across all platforms. Therefore, you don't have to worry about manually transferring files or accidentally saving over your work. Photos you take with your phone will also appear on your Windows 10 PC.

It is also possible to set up Microsoft OneDrive on a Mac.

Cortana for iOS and Android

With the Cortana app for Android and iOS, Microsoft has extended its voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana to not just Windows Phone but all mobile devices. When you use Cortana to set reminders on your desktop, your settings and history are remembered on your other devices.

When used in conjunction with the Windows Your Phone app, Cortana can:

  • Look up information on the web.
  • Add appointments to your Outlook calendar.
  • Receive and reply to text messages on your PC.
  • Send app notifications from your phone to your PC.

Microsoft announced that it is discontinuing support for the Cortana mobile app in 2020. Rather than having a separate app, the company plans to integrate Cortana's functionality into Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Office. In other words, iPhone and Android users will no longer be able to use Cortana as a general voice assistant, but that's not really a loss since they still have Siri and Google Assistant.

OneDrive and Cortana are also available for Amazon Fire tablets. You can even use Alexa and Cortana together to control multiple devices.