One of the nifty features of iOS was the notification sync that was brought since iOS 7. Notification sync was there in Windows 10 Mobile too, but unfortunately, Microsoft does not have future plans for the platform anymore. So, if you are using a PC with Windows 10 and an Android device, you can still sync notifications on your PC with Cortana.
How does it work?
The notification sync uses some of the built-in features of Windows 10 PCs, such as Cortana and the Windows 10 Action Center, which is the notification centre on Windows 10 devices. The neat thing about using Cortana for sync is that you do not have to install anything on your PC and you can still reply to messages from WhatsApp, Messenger, or text messages, right from your PC.
Cortana uses your Microsoft account to send the notification to your PC from your phone or tablet. So, before you proceed, here is what you need.
First, you will need a Microsoft account. If you are using a Windows 10 PC along with their cloud services, such as OneDrive, or Skype, chances are, you already have a Microsoft account. Along with that, you need to have an Android device that supports Cortana. Cortana runs on any version of Android that is above 4.4. However, it works best on Android 7.0 and above.
Also, both the devices need to be online for the notification sync to take place. Here is how to set up the notification sync.
Setting it up
Step one, sign in to your PC using a Microsoft account. You need this to make sure that Cortana on your PC can receive the notifications from your phone. By default, your PC can receive notifications from your phone unless you have disabled Cortana, or you are not using a Microsoft account. However, just to make sure everything is in place, follow these steps.
1. Click on the start button, or press the Windows Key.
2. Start typing “Your account picture and profile settings”. You will automatically start getting results.
3. Click on “Your account picture and profile settings” or “Manage your account”. Both lead to the same page in the Settings app.
Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Accounts.
4. Here, you will find the option to sign in with your Microsoft account, if you have not done that already. Once done you can open Cortana on your PC by clicking the search box or Cortana button on the taskbar.
If you have that hidden, you can get it by right-clicking on an empty space on the taskbar and selecting “Cortana” from the pop-up menu.
5. Once Cortana opens, click on the notebook icon in the left pane and select About Me. Here you can see if your account has been linked with Cortana or not. If done, setting up Cortana on your PC is complete.
On your Android device, you need to install Cortana for the notification sync. You can search in Google Play store, or download directly from APK mirror. Install Cortana and open it. You can skip through most of the startup screens. However, here, you must sign in using the Microsoft account. Once done, follow these steps.
1. Tap on the hamburger menu and select settings.
2. Under “General” section, tap on “Cross Device”.
3. Here, enable all the types of notifications that you want on your PC.
App notifications are turned off by default.
4. You can select which apps to sync. You can check the phone and most of the texting apps.
5. Once done, simply press the back button to exit.
During the process, Cortana will ask for notification access on your device. So, momentarily, you will be redirected to the settings page so that you can enable Notification access for Cortana. Alternatively, you can search for “Notification Access” in settings on your Android device to access the page and give Cortana the access to notifications. Once set up, your PC will start receiving your phone’s notifications.
For older versions of Windows
Cortana is not available on earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, which is still one of the most used versions of Windows. For that, you will need to install an app called PushBullet on both your PC and your Android device. The setup process is quite similar. On both devices, you will have to sign up on PushBullet.com. You can also use your Facebook or Google account to sign up.
One neat thing about pushbullet is that you can use that in your browser too as browser extensions are available. This allows pushbullet to work on any device that runs your favorite browsers. Other than that, in terms of notification sync, both Cortana and pushbullet have a similar feature set. With Cortana, you do not need to do anything extra on Windows 10 PCs.