What Redmond’s trying to do is bring desktop computers and PCs in sync by allowing users to see missed notifications, be they phone, messages, or apps, right on their desktops and even dismiss them quickly without touching the handset.
It’ll all be possible with Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant that’s already available on Android. The company explained at a Build 2016 session that it would create a new notification center in the cloud that would be responsible for receiving notifications from Android devices and then pushing them to Windows 10 PCs.
Cortana will be the center hub of everything, so this sync will only be possible if the Android user has the personal assistant running on their phone. Once notifications land on the desktop, the user is allowed to dismiss notifications manually and have them disappear from their phone too.
While we’ve known for a while that such functionality is being implemented for Windows 10 Mobile, seeing Android added to the list of compatible platforms is a sign that Microsoft’s trying to boost adoption of Cortana on non-Windows OSes, but also to offer another reason to stick with Windows 10 no matter the mobile device.
As far as iOS is concerned, iPhones won’t get notification sync with a Windows 10 computer (such features already exist for Mac computers) because of the restrictions that Apple has implemented in the operating system. While Cortana does exist on iOS as a beta, it cannot send notifications to the aforementioned hub in the cloud and then push them to a Windows 10 PC because Apple doesn’t specifically provide the permissions for it to do so.
Microsoft hasn’t offered any information on when exactly this feature could arrive in Windows 10, but the Anniversary Update landing in the summer is very likely to bring it.