If you regularly use a Windows 10 PC and an Android phone or tablet, there are several Android apps you can install that can seamlessly link the flow of information between the two. For instance, you can start a quick note on your phone, then finish it later on your Windows 10 PC, or you can receive the same alert on both devices for an appointment.
The following Windows 10-friendly Android apps are all from Microsoft — and all free. To get the kind of interoperability described above, you need to be signed into each of the apps on your Android device with the same Microsoft online account you use to sign into your Windows 10 computer.
1. Cortana: Sync reminders between your Windows PC and Android device
The Cortana app for Android lets you create reminders that will sync with, and send notifications to, your Windows 10 PC. To set a reminder in the Cortana app for Android, tap the icon on the lower-left of the app’s main screen (it’s the grid icon with 9 squares), tap the “New reminder” icon, type in a name for your reminder, and set the time when you want to be sent a notification for this reminder. You can also enter a destination that will trigger this notification when you physically arrive at that location, or add an image to the reminder.
And, yes, this works in reverse: You can you set reminders on your Windows 10 PC (either through the Calendar app or Cortana) that will show up on your Android device via the Cortana app.
2. Cortana: Forward your Android device’s notifications to your Windows 10 PC
You can also have notifications that originate from your Android device show up on your Windows 10 PC so that you can read and dismiss them. They will appear on the Windows 10 Action Center panel, listed under your Android device’s name as the category title.
The third is the most in-depth — forwarding notifications sent by other apps installed on your Android device to your Windows 10 PC. Tap to switch on this feature, then scroll through the list of apps installed on your Android device and switch on those from which you want to have notifications forwarded; they will appear in the Windows 10 Action Center.
3. OneDrive: Access files on your Windows 10 PC with your Android device
You probably already know that Windows 10 comes with Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive, which is integrated deeply into the OS — it shows up as a folder in the File Explorer. Dragging documents, images or other types of files to it automatically uploads them to the cloud.
The OneDrive Android app lets you view documents or images stored on your OneDrive folder. (If you tap an image file or PDF on your OneDrive cloud folder, the OneDrive app will load it in its own viewer. If you tap a document, like a plain-text file or Word document, the document will be downloaded to your Android device and the default app that you use to view this document format will load it.)
You can also set the OneDrive app to automatically upload photos and videos that you capture with your Android device’s camera to your OneDrive folder. You can then access these photos and videos on your Windows 10 PC.
4. Outlook: Sync your calendar events between your Windows 10 PC and Android device
Obviously, the Outlook Android app is primarily meant for accessing your email from Microsoft services such as Exchange, Office 365 or Outlook.com. (It can be used with your Gmail or Yahoo Mail account, too.) But the Outlook app also has a calendar tool that syncs with the Calendar app on your Windows 10 PC — through it, you can enter appointments and reminders of things to do on days and times you pick. Both your Android device and your Windows 10 PC will send you alerts as event deadlines approach.