Microsoft bringing screen mirroring to Your Phone was a big deal since it was supposed to work irrespective of your phone or PC make, unlike some branded applications. Besides ironing out some bugs, the company now wants to make "Phone screen" compatible with more Windows 10 computers. But its approach pulled a classic one step forward, two steps back, as the feature has dropped support for all phones except for some newer Samsung models.
The current implementation of Phone screen mirrors your Android screen to a Windows 10 device over Bluetooth Low Energy, which often didn’t work as intended. To make the overall experience seamless, Microsoft worked closely with Samsung to develop "Link to Windows" that works over Wi-Fi and sits in the Android Quick Settings menu. It also meant that screen mirroring could work on more PCs with enhanced connectivity as only a handful of Windows machines support BLE.
Windows 10’s latest insider build (19013) makes screen mirroring over Bluetooth obsolete while keeping Link to Windows as the default option. In the process, Microsoft removed support for all smartphones that aren’t Samsung-branded and those launched before 2019. This is the full list of currently supported phones:
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10/ Note 10+
- Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+/S10e
- Samsung Galaxy A30s/A50s/A90
A software update to these devices will make Link to Windows a system setting, which will be accessible under Advanced Features of the Settings menu. The Your Phone Companion app for Android already carries the new branding both on the Play Store and the Galaxy Store. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Microsoft will expand this capability to more Android devices with a stable release.