Windows 10 testers can now answer Android phone calls

At Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2019 in August and the Surface hardware event last week, Microsoft talked about Windows 10’s Your Phone app getting a new Calls feature. Today, the company is letting Windows Insiders start testing an early preview of Android calling on Windows 10.

Having given up on Windows Phone, Microsoft has increasingly poured more resources into Android as its mobile platform of choice. The company offers plenty of Android apps and features, including some that it can’t match on Apple’s more restricted iOS platform. Last week, Microsoft even unveiled the dual-screen Surface Neo Android phone, coming in holiday 2020.

Your Phone

Your Phone is part of Microsoft’s Continue on PC functionality, which lets you send a task from your Android or iOS device to Windows 10. The app’s main purpose is to let you access your phone’s content — like text messages, photos, and notifications — right on your PC. The feature first arrived with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in October 2017, and Microsoft has been broadening it ever since.

Calling support means you no longer have to grab your Android phone to answer a call when you’re at your computer. You can interact with the call using your PC’s speakers, microphone, and screen. Your Phone’s Calls feature supports the following:

  • Answer incoming phone calls on your PC.
  • Initiate phone calls from your PC using in-app dialer or contact list.
  • Decline incoming phone calls on your PC with custom text or send directly to your phone’s voicemail.
  • Access your recent call history on your PC. Clicking on a specific call will auto-populate the number within the dialer screen.
  • Seamlessly transfer calls between your PC and phone.

Your Phone’s new calling feature requires a phone running Android 7.0 or higher, a Windows 10 PC with Bluetooth radio, and Windows 10 build 18362.356 or higher. Microsoft is rolling out the feature gradually to Windows Insiders on 19H1 builds or newer, so don’t worry if you don’t see it in the Your Phone app just yet. Since this is an early preview, you may also to unpair and pair your phone and PC again.

Windows 10 build 18999

Also today, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 preview build. The update bumps Windows 10 from build 189995 (made available to testers on October 8) to build 18999. These builds are from the 20H1 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update that will arrive in the first half of next year, possibly as the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released seven major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, April 2018 Update, October 2018 Update, and May 2019 Update.

Bug fixes

This 20H1 build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders seeing error 0x8007023e when installing updates.
  • Fixed an issue where, after successfully updating to Build 18995, the Windows Update Settings page might show the same build still needs to install. After installing Build 18999, you won’t see this issue on future flights.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the Optional Features page in Settings crashing for some Insiders.
  • Fixed an issue where some Insiders were finding that Settings doesn’t launch from the button in Start, isn’t listed in the All apps list, or as a search result. If you are impacted, pressing WIN+R and inputting “ms-settings:” (without the quotes) will launch Settings if you need it.
  • Fixed a deadlock in the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel that could result in it not loading.
  • Fixed an issue where if Cortana had been moved from the default position, then it wouldn’t be visible when you tried to launch it via the WIN+C keyboard shortcut.
  • Fixed an issue where when on battery saver SearchFilterHost.exe might use an unexpectedly high volume of CPU.
  • Fixed an issue where search would crash if a Start Menu layout including a folder had been applied via group policy.
  • Fixed an issue impacting VPN connection reliability.
  • Fixed an issue in Narrator which caused Chrome to become unstable when navigating web contents.
  • In Narrator braille, group header contextual elements are now represented with a “grp” abbreviation instead of “group.”
  • Narrator would not show the text being spoken when returning to the same edit field in braille just after navigating back from an element that did not support a standard text control.
  • Magnifier now remembers its window position after close and will reopen in that same location next time.
  • Fixed an issue where the text cursor indicator did not adjust to show in the correct location after content was scrolled.
  • Fixed an issue in the Search bar in either Control Panel or File Explorer where the box becomes gray and prevents input.
  • Fixed an issue where devices configured for dual scan (WSUS and Windows Update) for updates may not have been offered new builds in the Fast ring.
  • Fixed an issue where some devices configured to use HDR may have experienced a bluish tint on their HDR displays after using Night Light.
  • Fixed an issue where certain 2D apps (like Feedback Hub, Microsoft Store, and 3D Viewer) were incorrectly being treated as having protected content within Windows Mixed Reality and were blocking their content from being recorded.
  • Fixed an issue where, when capturing a repro video while filing a bug via Feedback Hub in Windows Mixed Reality, you couldn’t select Stop video.
  • Fixed the issue causing theme packs downloaded from the Microsoft Store to fail to apply.

Known issues

This build has only one known issue:

  • There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. Make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.

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