Microsoft and Samsung have teamed-up to bring an incredibly convenient feature to users. If you’ve ever owned an iPhone and a Mac …things might seem a little familiar. Spotted in a new Windows Insider beta build, the new feature should do away with the need to plug your smartphone into your PC with a USB or email yourself whenever you want to get a file or photo from one device to another.
The new feature, which should roll out to users worldwide after beta testing, will let Samsung smartphone owners drag-and-drop photos and files from their handset directly onto their Windows 10 PC. This follows the ability to copy-and-paste text from a Samsung-branded handset to your laptop or desktop PC (and vice versa) which was rolled out to consumers last month.
If you’re already running the latest Windows Insider build, you’ll be able to test out the feature now.
According to Samsung-centric blog SamMobile, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S20 are needed to use the feature. You’ll also need Microsoft’s Your Phone app running as well as Link To Windows service created by Samsung. Both of these can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. It’s worth noting that the required version 1.5 of the Link To Windows app is not compatible with some older handsets, so you might need to upgrade to new hardware to ensure that you can leverage this functionality.
Once the apps are up-and-running, Samsung smartphone owners will only need to long-press on a file or an image to select it, then drag and drop the highlighted files into the “Your Phone” window on the device. This will wirelessly beam the file to your Windows 10 PC. You will then be able to load up the image into an editing suite, like Photoshop, or drop the file into a Word document.
Apple has its own AirDrop system that works across Mac, iPhone and iPad. Just like Samsung and Windows devices, users can copy text on their smartphone and paste it into a document or webpage on their MacBook or Mac desktop. AirDrop lets you send almost all types of files – from photos and videos, to text documents, webpages, and even map locations.
Aside from the sheer variety of file types, one advantage Apple AirDrop has over the new Windows-Samsung system is the size of the files that can be wirelessly beamed between gadgets. There is currently no size restriction on files sent over AirDrop, with some Apple users reportedly using the system to send video files over 10GB without issue.
With the new system being tested by Microsoft and Samsung, the limit on the file size is 512MB.
If you’re shooting 4K videos – or 8K, if you’re using the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – you’re not going to be able to send much more than a few seconds between your devices. Secondly, transfers are also currently limited to 100 files. So, you might still have to rummage around in your drawers to unearth a USB cable if you’re hoping to move a huge batch of photos from your phone to your PC.
Still, it’s early days and these restrictions could be lifted in the future.
And even if they’re never lifted, there are dozens of times when being able to send a single screenshot or beam a single file will save you time. With any luck, the feature will be beta-tested, signed-off and rolled out to Windows 10 users across the globe in the coming weeks.