You’ll soon be able to pair your Android phone as part of the Windows 11 setup process.
You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Windows 11 setup process, but Microsoft definitely does. In fact, the company calls the whole process the “Out of Box Experience” (OOBE) and it’ll soon add an Android pairing feature that will let you add your phone to your PC before you even see the desktop.
Windows 11’s New Android Pairing Setup
The new feature was announced on the Windows Insider Blog as a part of the Insider Preview Build 22567. The build has some interesting tidbits buried within, such as a more carbon-friendly Windows Update and improving how you manage your Microsoft 365 subscription.
However, of note is a new addition to the Windows 11 OOBE where the user can pair their phone:
Linking will give you instant access to everything on your phone, right from your PC. Without needing to constantly swap your attention to your phone, you can use your favorite mobile apps, send text messages, make calls, and more on your PC with the benefit of a full keyboard and mouse.
The update isn’t ready for everyone’s Windows 11 PCs just yet, but if you’re on the Dev channel, you can download and test this new feature rightaway.
What Does This Update Mean for Windows 11?
This may not sound like a huge update, but it does give us hints that Microsoft wants more of us to attach our Android phones to Windows 11. And that, in turn, may hint that the company has big plans for pairing the two together.
We already have a Windows app called Your Phone, which makes use of a connected Android phone. However, if you don’t own a special Samsung phone, you’re restricted to just sending texts and accessing photos. In fact, you’d be forgiven for not even knowing you could pair your phone to Windows 11.
By putting the pairing steps into the OOBE, Microsoft is putting its Android pairing feature front and center. It already did this with its 365 subscription service, which offers you a plan as you set up your PC. And now, nobody setting up a Windows 11 PC will miss the chance to pair their phone.
As for why Microsoft wants to draw attention to this feature, it may be due to something in the works. Perhaps the company wants to allow more phone models to broadcast their apps onto Windows 11, or Microsoft wants to use phone 2-factor authentication as a way to verify that the account holder is who they say they are.
More Goodies Coming to Your Phone?
Soon, Windows 11 will ask you if you want to pair your phone during setup. As for why Microsoft is making this push, we’ll have to wait and see.
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