If all your communications mediums work together seamlessly, you are more efficient. You can work more, and with less effort. This is why businesses are investing in unified communications technology. Luckily if you regularly use a Windows 10 PC and an Android phone or tablet, there are several free Android apps you can install that can seamlessly link the flow of information between the two, putting you firmly aboard the unified communications train, without any additional cost.
The following are Windows 10-friendly free apps from Microsoft that our IT experts think you will find handy. [Note: to get everything to work together seamlessly, you need to be signed into 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 (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.
Once set, this reminder will sync with your Windows 10 PC; for example, if you have the Calendar app pinned as a live tile on the Start menu, the reminder will appear on the Calendar app’s tile. And when you click the time/date icon on the notification area of Windows 10, the reminder will appear listed on a side panel below a calendar.
It works in reverse as well.
2. OneDrive: Access files on your Windows 10 PC with your Android device
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.
To enable automatic upload from the camera (or to make sure it already is enabled), in the Android app, tap the three-bars icon on the upper-left of the main screen, tap the settings icon (on the bottom-right of the panel that slides in from the left), and tap “Camera upload” on the next screen.
3. Outlook: Sync your calendar events between your Windows 10 PC and Android device
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.
On the Android app, you get to this calendar tool by tapping the second icon (it looks like a calendar) along the bottom of the main screen. Then you tap on a day you want to mark with an event reminder. You can then enter the details, including people you want to receive notifications about the event from your contacts list.
Like setting reminders with the Cortana app, this works in reverse. If you set appointments or events in the Calendar app on your Windows 10 PC, you will get alerts on your Android phone through the Outlook app.
4. OneNote: Sync notes from your Android device to your Windows 10 PC
A Windows app version of OneNote is included with Windows 10. Installing the OneNote Android app on your mobile device can be handy for creating notes while you are on the go that you can edit more thoroughly later on your Windows 10 PC.
With the Android app, you can make notes or to-do checklists by entering text for them through your Android device’s touchscreen keyboard, handwriting with a digital pen, or voice-typing. You can draw doodles on your notes with your finger or digital pen, and add photos to a note with your Android device’s camera.
5. Office Lens: Sync “scans” taken with your Android device to your Windows 10 PC
This nifty Office Lens app by Microsoft isn’t specifically linked with Windows 10 but integrated with OneDrive. It’s for capturing documents, which can include business cards and receipts, with your Android device’s camera. You can also use the app to snap images of drawings, handwriting or text on chalkboards, whiteboards or signs.
Microsoft Office Lens automatically aligns, cleans up and crops the captured image, and can convert it into editable text and graphics in OneNote, PowerPoint or Word format, or preserve its formatting as a PDF. The captured document image is automatically uploaded to your OneDrive folder (which you can, of course, then access on your Windows 10 PC).
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