Windows Phone Is Dead—How to Make Android a Next Best Thing

Android, powered by Microsoft. (Image: Gizmodo)

Windows Phone is dead, yet Microsoft isn’t removing out of mobile—in fact it’s redoubling a efforts. With copiousness of apps for iOS and Android out now and improving fast, we can reconstruct many of a feel of a Windows Phone on your existent handset, as prolonged as we can live yet those rotating tiles. Here’s how to go all-in with Microsoft on mobile.

We’re going to concentration on Android here given it’s inherently some-more skinnable and customizable than Apple’s mobile platform, and Microsoft is holding full advantage. You can get a identical apartment of Redmond apps for iOS, yet you’re still left with an knowledge that’s mostly Apple. Grab yourself an Android phone and we’ll get started.

Install a Microsoft launcher

Android launchers, for a uninitiated, seem when we strike a Home button—they control a icons, a wallpaper, a home shade layouts, a app drawer and more. It’s not utterly a same as installing a whole new chronicle of Android, yet it can feel like it.


Microsoft has been creation a possess launcher called Arrow Launcher given 2015, yet it’s recently been given a revamp and a rebrand to Microsoft Launcher. The new chronicle isn’t publicly accessible during a time of writing, yet we can get a beta commissioned on your Android device by following a download couple from here.

Microsoft Launcher setup. (Image: Screenshot)

Launch a launcher, and we get to select some aspects of a interface, and get a choice of carrying a Bing daily wallpaper uncover adult on your phone too. You’ll afterwards have to give a app some permissions so it can control all on your phone, and pointer in regulating your Microsoft account, if we wish to simply sync all your Microsoft things to your newly mutated Android phone.


As with Google’s batch launcher, we can appropriate right from a home shade to get during a feed of weather, appointments, and news. Widgets uncover your frequently used apps, new messages and photos, and favorite contacts, and all of this can be customized. You’ve also got accessible widgets for jotting down records and saying papers on your device and in OneDrive.

The launcher can take over your home screens. (Image: Screenshot)

You don’t have to go all-in with Microsoft services—you can uncover Google calendars instead of Outlook ones for example—but as we would design all works best with Microsoft’s possess services. Any of a widgets can be pinned to one of your home screens for a improved look.

Elsewhere your home shade icons and app drawer get a visible overhaul, and a determined Google hunt box during a tip of a shade is transposed with a determined Bing hunt box—you can indeed switch this to Google or Yahoo if we prefer, or invalidate it altogether. Tap a Launcher Settings symbol on a home shade to customize flattering many each aspect of a launcher, from a instruction apps corkscrew in, to that gestures are upheld opposite a system.

Install Microsoft’s apps

So you’ve altered a demeanour and feel of your Android device and given it a particular Microsoft tinge—you afterwards need to implement all of a mobile apps Microsoft creates accessible for Android, that run to some-more than we competence think.


There’s Outlook, Skype, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Xbox for example, as good as a elementary To Do app, and a tighten shade manager called Next: This final one isn’t quite Microsoft-heavy, solely for pulling in Bing wallpapers, yet it is grown by Microsoft and competence good turn some-more firmly integrated with a Microsoft Launcher over time.

Hey Cortana, reinstate a Google Assistant. (Image: Screenshot)

If you’re wanting to Windows-ify your phone though, some apps are some-more critical than others. Cortana can reinstate Google Now, Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby or whatever season of intelligent AI friend you’ve already got, and today can indeed be launched with a prolonged press of a Home button—follow a instructions inside a app to set this up.


OneDrive, meanwhile, brings all in your Microsoft cloud storage locker over to your Android phone. If we like, it will also automatically upload your photos and videos to a cloud as well, yet you’ll need to compensate for some-more room if we start using out. Again this can be set adult from inside a app when we implement it.

OneDrive for Android. (Image: Screenshot)

Finally there’s Microsoft Edge for Android—at a time we’re essay this, a browser is usually accessible with an invitation from Microsoft, yet it should be out for everybody before too long. The large advantage for Microsoft loyalists, irrespective of a several details and outs of a Edge vs Chrome debate, is that we can sync all over from a desktop chronicle of Edge, including bookmarks and browsing history.


With Microsoft Launcher and Microsoft’s apps all installed, and Cortana prepared to go during a press of a symbol or a scream of a voice command, your Android phone is unexpected looking a lot some-more like a Windows Phone. Squint your eyes and pulp a Nokia plaque on a behind and it could roughly be a genuine thing.

Connect Android to Windows 10

Since a launch, Windows 10 has finished joining to Android flattering straightforward, interjection in partial to a flexibility of Android and interjection in partial to Microsoft creation a big-name apps some-more cloud-focused and straightforwardly accessible on mobile. Using Android with a Windows PC is already elementary no matter what your make or indication of phone.


On any chronicle of Windows 10, implement Windows Phone Companion and we can barter files, photos, music, and some-more between your mechanism and your mobile—for a many partial this is finished by installing a apps we’ve mentioned above, yet a Companion creates a routine a small some-more straightforward.

The Fall Creators Update creates joining phones easier. (Image: Screenshot)

With a Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 is removing even friendlier with Android phones (and iPhones), permitting we to continue your mobile web browsing on your desktop, and (eventually) lift off tricks like modifying papers seamlessly opposite both platforms. The Fall Creators Update drops on Oct 17 yet we can exam a underline now if you’re partial of a Windows Insider program.


First open adult Settings on your PC, conduct into a Phone section, and collect Add a phone: Enter your mobile series and you’ll get a content sent to your device. Next open adult Cortana on your phone, and opt to try a Continue on PC underline (it should seem as an choice on a Upcoming panel). Work by a stairs and not usually can we continue browsing on your PC, we can see missed calls and texts on your desktop or laptop too.

Web browsing can be switched to desktop. (Image: Screenshot)

It’s still in a early theatre yet here’s something to try now: Tap any news story in a Upcoming row in a Cortana app, afterwards daub a Continue on PC button, that is down in a bottom right corner. Choose Continue now and as if by sorcery a same browser add-on should seem in Microsoft Edge on your Windows 10 machine.


All of this is approaching to get slicker over time. It competence not accurately be a finish Windows Phone knowledge on your Android device, yet we can get so tighten to it, it’s not tough to know because Microsoft motionless to lift a block on building an whole mobile OS of a possess when it can only build on what Google and Apple are doing instead.

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Posted by on Oct 10 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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