Browsing on your iPhone? Here’s how to continue on a Windows PC

Mac users have it easy. iCloud’s Handoff feature allows you to instantly switch to a Mac or an iPad when it becomes discomforting to browse a website or an article on the iPhone’s relatively smaller screen. This is especially true if you’re reading a lengthy, interesting piece.

But what about those with a Windows PC? Sometimes, you might wish you were reading an article online on a bigger screen, wanting to switch away from your iPhone. Now, if you have a Windows PC, you can opt for the traditional sharing options such as emailing yourself the link or worse, typing it yourself in the URL bar of a browser on your PC.

However, if you have a Windows PC and an iPhone, you don’t need to choose either option. As it turns out, Microsoft has created a solution that lets you easily switch from your iPhone to your Windows PC while browsing. It’s in the form of an app called “Continue to PC” that can be downloaded straight from the App Store.

Using “Continue on PC”, you can easily continue accessing websites, documents, emails, and more on your Windows PC coming from your iPhone. Its implementation is barely similar to Apple’s Handoff, but it gets the job done.

For instance, while reading an article on your iPhone, when you send it to your Windows PC via the “Continue on PC” app, it does send the webpage but is considerably slow as compared to Handoff. Another caveat includes the fact that transferred webpages always open in Microsoft’s Edge browser and there’s no option to change that preference. Then there’s the unilateral method of transfer, meaning you can only continue reading articles, documents, and emails coming from your iPhone to your Windows PC; not the other way around.

Tip: The “Continue on PC” feature is also integrated into Edge for iOS by default. This means even if you don’t download the standalone “Continue on PC” app from the App Store, you can still use the feature considering you’ve got Edge Browser installed on your iPhone.

Despite all these caveats, the process of instantly continuing whatever you were browsing on your iPhone on your PC is gratifying. There are other apps that exist for the same purpose, for example, Pushbullet; but Continue to PC is the closest you can get to Apple’s Handoff thanks to the feature being baked right into Windows 10.

Microsoft, however, says that in order to use the app you’ll need a Windows PC running at least the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update. You’ll also need to link your iPhone to your Windows PC first from within Windows Settings to ensure proper connectivity. You’ll only need to link your phone once, so it’s not much of a hindrance.

That said, here’s how Microsoft says you should link your iPhone to your Windows PC:

To finish linking your phone and PC, make sure that you:

  • Have the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build installed on your PC.
  • Link your phone from your PC. On your PC, select Start > Settings > Phone, then select Add a phone to get started.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to sign in to your Microsoft account on both the “Continue on PC” app on your iPhone and on your Windows PC for this feature to work.

Now that we’ve established the ground rules for this feature to work, let’s take a look at how to continue reading an article, for instance, from your iPhone to your Windows PC.

Here’s how to continue on a Windows PC while browsing on your iPhone

First off, download the “Continue on PC” app on your iPhone.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll be documenting the process of jumping from reading, well, an article on an iPhone to reading the same article on a Windows PC. Let’s say you’re reading an article in Safari:

  1. While reading an article in Safari or any other browser on your iPhone, tap the share sheet icon at the bottom of the screen.
  1. Scroll all the way right through a horizontal list of apps and tap the icon with three dots in the middle.
  1. Scroll down until you find “Continue on PC” listed within the list of apps and tap on it. These are called app extensions, FYI.
  1. A prompt should appear listing the PC you want to continue on. Tap on it.
  1. The article should automatically open within the Edge browser on your Windows PC. You can copy its URL and paste it to a browser of your choice if you need as there is no option to change that default.

Final Thoughts

Apple is well-known for having a hold on its customers. It not only wants to reel customers in but also wants them to never leave. And Apple is quite good at doing that. Once you buy an iPhone, you’ll realize that to properly take advantage of the device’s many surprisingly wonderful features, you’ll need other Apple devices like the Mac or the iPad.

And once you purchase more than one Apple device and notice the seamless integration between the two, there’s usually no going back.

Despite the lack of Apple’s implementation of its features on devices made by other manufacturers, it’s interesting to learn that alternatives are available.

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