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Windows PCs can link to an iPhone or Android device for notification mirroring, easy file transfers, texting, and other features. Microsoft is now testing another feature: automatic notifications for new photos and screenshots.

Microsoft just released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23619 to the Dev Channel, for PCs enrolled in the Insider Program. If you have your phone connected to your PC with Phone Link, and you take a new photo or capture a screenshot, a notification will appear on your PC for the new image. You can click the notification to view and edit the image with Snipping Tool, and then share it with another application on your PC. This is similar to the notifications that Microsoft started testing in September 2023, which has been replaced by this new implementation—the company didn't specify exactly what is different, but last year's blog post didn't mention screenshot detection.

Microsoft said in a blog post, "We are also beginning to gradually roll out a new feature for Windows that introduces the ability to effortlessly access and edit your most recent photos and screenshots from your Android mobile device in Snipping Tool on your PC. With this feature, you’ll receive instant notifications on your PC whenever a new photo or screenshot is captured on your Android device."

Notably, this only works when the connected phone is an Android device. Phone Link on iPhones rely on a paired Bluetooth connection, due to Apple's restrictions with apps on iOS, which likely doesn't give Windows a way to check for new images. Phone Link with an iPhone also doesn't support sending messages with photos and videos, replying to group conversations, and mirroring the phone's screen to your PC.

The feature can be turned on or off by opening the Settings app on your PC, then navigating to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mobile devices. It's still only available on Insider versions of Windows, and it also requires an update to the Cross Device Experience Host system component. Presumably, it will roll out to more computers in the coming weeks and months.

Source: Windows Insider Blog