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article imageWindows 10 preview now syncs Android notifications to your PC

By James Walker     May 20, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has added a new feature to the latest Windows 10 preview build for Insiders. It lets you get notifications from your Android phone on your Windows PC. You can view new messages in Action Center and respond to them with your keyboard.
Microsoft introduced the feature at its Build 2016 developers conference in April. Part of a host of improvements coming to Windows 10's Action Center notification panel this summer, notification sync between Android and Windows represents Microsoft's ongoing commitment to support every platform.
Cross-device sync is powered by Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant available on Windows, iOS and Android. To start receiving Android notifications, you first need to install Cortana on your phone and enable it on your PC. With that done, incoming alerts will be mirrored on your PC, although you'll need to be a Windows Insider to see it in action.
WinBeta reports that Reddit users have begun to have the feature enabled for them, giving them their first glimpse of how it works. It may be a little buggy currently, hence the preview status, but should give you a convenient way to manage notifications across multiple devices once complete.
Dismissing a notification on your PC will dismiss it on your phone and vice versa. For supporting notifications, such as those from messaging apps, you can respond to the notification on your PC. It makes it much simpler to quickly reply to an incoming message without needing to reach over from your work, distracting you from the task at hand. For people who frequently transition between their PC and phone, it should help to avoid duplicate notifications too.
The notifications are synchronised securely using Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. When an alert arrives on your Android phone, Cortana is made aware of it. The assistant uploads its contents to the cloud where it is detected by your PC and pulled into the Windows 10 Action Center. Notifications then remain in sync across all your Windows 10 devices.
There may be a small delay between the notification arriving on your phone and being pushed to your PC. Generally, it shouldn't be too noticeable though. Microsoft is ensuring performance is up to scratch as otherwise the feature's convenience factor will be lost entirely.
Other improvements coming to Action Center include expanded support for inline media, such as images, and changes to the way notifications are shown. By default, only three notifications are now displayed per app, giving you a better at-a-glance look at new alerts. You can expand each app to see all the notifications and customise how many are displayed by default.
The update will roll out to all Windows 10 users as part of this summer's Anniversary Update for the year-old OS. To use Android notification syncing, you'll need a compatible Android device and the Cortana app. Currently, Cortana for Android is only available in the U.S., preventing all users from accessing the feature.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Android, Notifications
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