Windows 10 Gets SMS, Seamless Photo Sharing via Phone

John Lister's picture

Windows 10's next major update will add a couple of features to make life easier for people with an Android phone. Using text messages and accessing photos on the PC will be possible without having to touch the phone.

The services are both in a new built-in Windows 10 app called Your Phone. However, to use the new features, phone owners will also need to install "Microsoft Apps" from the Google Play Store on their handset. (Source:

Typing Possible On Full Size Keyboard

The messaging tool covers SMS text messages. Users will be able to see the latest batch of messages received on their handset via the computer screen. They'll also be able to reply and write new messages using their computer keyboard.

It appears the tool will work even for messages that the user hasn't yet opened. That means that as well as having easier typing, users working at their PC won't need to get their phone out every time they get a message. The move means SMS text messages will have the same level of convenience as those from messaging apps such as Facebook and Skype.

Google Photos Could Be Simpler Option

Users will also be able to access the most recent photos from their phone camera on their PC screen as well as 'dragging and dropping' a copy onto the computer hard drive. From there they will be able to edit, post or send it like any other image file. (Source:

For some users, this will bring some extra convenience as it's certainly quicker than digging out a USB cable (or removing a memory card from the phone), and a little 'cleaner' than emailing the photo to yourself so that you can download it on a PC.

What Microsoft obviously isn't as quick to point out is that most Android handsets have Google Photos built in already. This means that as long as the user has WiFi access (or has enabled mobile data uploads), any picture they take is automatically backed up to their Google Photos account and can then be accessed from any device on which they've signed in to Google.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you find it useful to be able to send and receive text messages from your computer? How do you normally get phone photos on to your computer? Do you have any privacy or security concerns that mean you might disable these features?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I rarely ever use SMS these days because I prefer being able to see if the person has received my message, which only seems to be available if you use third party apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. If Microsoft were able to interface with those apps as well it would be a huge, huge, huge convenience.

Focused100's picture

Hi Dennis

By SMS do you mean texting?
I can't live without texting with my clients and prospects.

Dennis Faas's picture

Yes, SMS (short message service) is known as "texting" and so is MMS (multimedia messaging service, otherwise known as texting with pictures, videos, audio). Whatsapp and Messenger are considered as texting, sort of, but also runs over WiFi which is a huge bonus.

bern's picture

Being pensioners (sorry seniors) 'Every day's a holiday'. Thus we spend 15-20 weeks of the year overseas visiting friends, family and even on 'real' holidays. There have been many stories in the UK press of famous fools (often premier league footballers (sorry soccer players)), who blog and brag their exotic holidays on social media only to return home to find their homes ransacked and robbed blind. Social media rule one, never broadcast you're away from home. Rule 2, never trust social media security settings. Fact 3, most friends use a range of different social media, if at all.

The one thing every phone has is SMS, most contracts now have unlimited SMS. My contract lets me use my allowance across 71 counties at no extra cost (as do many others), SMS is much more reliable than data or even voice, you don't have to worry about 6-11 hour time differences, it is far more secure than social media, my home security system sends me SMS alerts, is easy to reply to and free to receive everywhere.

Yes, I miss the old Nokia receipt message, but usually, the send time does not appear until it has been delivered (though perhaps not read). Sad old git that I am, I write holiday missives to my friends. Being able to type them on the PC and not pay Skype would be a bonus.

I will certainly give it a try, how popular it will be I don't know, all people's needs are different.

My next want is for my mobile (voice, data and text) to work over WiFi everywhere not just in the UK.

rileygeo.bob_5426's picture

For your phone and PC or Mac

Android Messages, Android's official app for texting (SMS, MMS) and chat (RCS). Message anyone from anywhere with the reliability of texting and the richness of chat. Stay in touch with friends and family, send group texts, and share your favorite pictures, videos, and audio messages.

Clean design
A fresh new design makes communicating faster and more fun.

Easy sharing
Select or take pictures and videos directly from the app and share easily. You can even send audio messages to your contacts.

Richer conversations
Send audio messages, emoji, stickers, or your location.

Powerful search
Search through conversation threads to find exactly what you're looking for.

Chat features (RCS)
On supported carriers, you can send and receive messages over Wi-Fi or your data network, see when friends have read your message, and more.
Android Messages is supported on devices running Android™ 5.0 Lollipop and above.

plamonica_3840's picture

By my count there are 8 remaining Windows phones in the US. I own 2 of them. This feature has been available on those devices for a while now and it really is a handy thing to have. Wait, you should see other services at some point. You should listen to me, I still think Windows Phones will come back.