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

Windows 10 launches Universal Windows Platform

Windows 10 Android iOS
Windows 10 Works with Your Phone. Microsoft

In March 2015, Microsoft unveiled a universal app platform so that any app that ran on a Windows 10 device would look and run identically on another Windows 10 device, whether a desktop PC or a Windows 10 mobile phone. Developers only needed to create a single app for all devices, and the app adapted to the device resolution as needed.

In 2018, Microsoft launched the Universal Windows Platform for Windows users to deliver a better experience that provides a common app platform on every device that runs Windows 10. 

Android App and iOS Apps Ported to Windows 10

In another interesting move in 2015, Microsoft introduced toolkits that allowed Android developers and iOS developers to port their apps to Windows: "Project Astoria" for Android and "Project Islandwood" for iOS. However, Microsoft killed the projects in 2016.

Windows 10 Phone Companion

Microsoft's new "Phone Companion" app for Windows 10 is designed to help you connect and set up your Windows phone (now discontinued), Android phone, or iPhone to Windows. It essentially installs Microsoft apps that can keep your phone and your PC in sync: OneDrive, Microsoft Office, Outlook, Skype, and Windows' Photo app. A new Music app lets you stream all the songs you have on OneDrive for free.

According to the Windows blog post:

All your files and content will be magically available on your PC and your phone:

  • With the OneDrive app setup correctly on your phone, every photo you take on your phone will show up automatically in the Photos app on your Windows 10 PC.
  • With the latest upcoming version of the Music app, you’ll be able to store and access your music from OneDrive not only on your PC but now also play it anywhere, for free, on your iOS or Android phone (this already works on Windows phones). This means the music playlists you spend hours putting together on your Windows 10 PC will now show up and be playable on your phone, automatically.
  • Take a note wherever you are—notes you write on your PC in OneNote will show up on your phone. And any note you tweak on your phone will get synced to your PC.
  • And you can work on your Office documents from any of your devices, without worrying about moving files around.

Cortana Everywhere

Microsoft extended its voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana to not just Windows Phone and Windows 10 PC, but also to iOS and Android as well. You can set reminders and dictate email in Cortana on the desktop, and your settings and history are remembered on your other devices.

Seamless syncing between mobile and the desktop has long been a dream. We're getting close, thanks to cloud storage tools like Dropbox and browser syncing, but we're not yet at the point where it doesn't matter what device we're on.