Microsoft has announced the Enhanced Windows 365 App Experience for Android. The feature, initially integrated with Lenovo's ThinkPhone by Motorola, allows users to access the full capabilities of Windows 365 from their Android devices. It offers a mobile-desktop convergence reminiscent of Samsung's DeX feature.
By connecting their smartphone to an external display via USB-C or HDMI and pairing it with an external keyboard and mouse, users can morph their phones into portable productivity hubs using Windows 365 Cloud PCs. This mirrors the DeX functionality, which also requires a keyboard, mouse, and monitor connection. However, while Samsung DeX was first introduced with the Galaxy S8 and required specific hardware like the USB 3.1 transfer specification, Microsoft's solution seems more universal, targeting a broader range of Android devices.
Seamless Integration with Android Phones
The ThinkPhone by Motorola, Lenovo's first Think-branded smartphone, was highlighted in August for its unique features stemming from Lenovo's collaboration with Microsoft. This partnership has now borne fruit in the form of the Enhanced Windows 365 App Experience.
The feature is not exclusive to the ThinkPhone, with plans to extend it to other Android devices, although specific models remain undisclosed. While Samsung DeX was initially limited to high-end Samsung devices, Microsoft's feature is not exclusive to the ThinkPhone. Plans are underway to expand it to other Android devices.
New Workflows with Cloud PCs
The Enhanced Windows 365 App Experience transcends being a mere mobile extension of the Windows platform. On connection to an external display, users can swiftly access a list of their Cloud PCs, delving into their workflows.
This is somewhat analogous to the DeX experience, where users can access a desktop environment on their device. Microsoft further refines the experience with features like “Start automatically”, optimizing displays for an immediate Cloud PC connection.
Moreover, multitasking is made seamless, allowing users to access smartphone apps while working on the Cloud PC. This includes making calls or browsing social media without any disruption, a feature also celebrated in the DeX environment. Enhancements also extend to Microsoft Teams calls, enabling users to harness their phone's camera, speakers, and microphone for a superior communication experience.