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Your Android phone is about to get some prime real estate in Windows

You'll soon be able to interact with your phone right from the Start Menu... if you're a Windows Insider.

Published onJune 21, 2024

windows 11 start menu phone link
  • Microsoft is testing a feature that integrates Android or iOS devices right into the Start Menu.
  • You’ll be able to send and receive messages and calls. You’ll also be able to manage photos and a few other functions.
  • The feature is rolling out to Windows Insiders using Android phones on the beta channel slowly, though no word on when it might come to the stable Windows 11 build.

Microsoft Phone Link is the simplest way to connect an Android phone or iPhone to Windows 10 and 11. Not only is the app pre-installed for most Windows 11 users, but it’s also one of the easiest-to-use solutions, albeit with a feature set that’s a bit more basic compared to some third-party alternatives. Now, it’s about to become even more accessible, as today Microsoft announced it will soon integrate Phone Link features directly into the Start Menu.

The general functionality remains the same as ever, but it’s now more seamlessly integrated into the Windows experience. It’s also definitely more prominently placed than ever before. You’ll be able to see your phone’s battery status and connectivity, as well as access messages, calls, and photos right from the Start Menu. You’ll even be able to pick up exactly where you left off in activities from your phone and run select apps right on the big screen.

The only catch is that this new feature isn’t quite ready for prime time and there’s really no word on if or when it’ll hit the stable build of Windows 11. It’s only available to those enrolled in the Windows 11 Insider Program with Phone Link version 1.24052.124.0 or higher and will only work with Android phones to start. You’ll also need to be on Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22635.3790 or higher in the Beta Channel. Microsoft says the feature will roll out gradually. As an Insider, I can tell you the update has yet to reach my test laptop, so you might need to be patient a bit longer if this is something you’re keen to check out for yourself.

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