Connected Devices UWP App Allows You To Share Content Across Windows 10 Devices


In April during the Day 2 keynote, Joe Belfiore showed off a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall called Windows Timeline.

The premise behind this service was to tie multiple devices, including iOS and Android handsets, into the same ecosystem as your Windows 10 device using the same Microsoft Account and then provide the ability to pickup on various tasks across your devices.

Here is a screenshot that was shared during that keynote of the feature in use on the Windows 10 desktop:

Windows Timeline

In the Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released back in April, we can see just a small sample of this experience with the pick up where you left off feature between your various Windows 10 devices and the Action Center. 

Action Center Resume From Your Other Devices

This entry is triggered if you leave one Windows 10 devices and log into another one within 30 minutes.

Windows Timeline in the Fall Creators Update will of course be much more robust than this based on the demo at Build however, there is an app that you could start using today on your Windows 10 devices - including Windows 10 Mobile - to share more than just the websites that are shared in the example above.

Connected Devices, formerly known as Share Across Devices, is a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that allows you to easily share files and links with other Windows 10 devices. They key is that these devices must use the same Microsoft Account in order to facilitate the sharing process.

Here are the features as described by the apps author Steven Countryman aka Simplisidy:

-- With this app, you can share any web link, text, or file from any app to any other Windows 10 Anniversary device that you own. This incudes: Windows 10 desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, Xbox One, and Hololens.

-- Share text instantly to your Windows 10 or Windows 10 mobile devices and have it automatically copied to the target device's clipboard

-- Share urls instantly to any of your Windows 10 devices and have them automatically open in the target device's default browser

-- Share youtube videos instantly to any of your Windows 10 devices have them automatically open in your favorite YouTube apps like myTube and TubeCast

-- Share a single file or multiple files at once to your Windows 10 or Windows 10 mobile devices over local wireless or wired networks that are not blocked by firewalls

So as you can see the key limitation is that the devices must be on the same wired/wireless network in order for sharing to work. Although I can not fully test this today since I am on a work trip and only have one device with me, I also suspect those other devices will need to be turned on to open the app to receive the shared file.

While this is certainly no replacement for the features shown off for Windows Timeline, if you work in an environment where you bounce between Windows 10 based systems in the course of your work, then this could be a very fast way to move content between devices.

This app is also being actively developed by Countryman as you can see from the recent release notes - he is already taken advantage of the new Fluent Design language for elements of his UI:

-- Overhauled file transfer UI for sending and receiving.
-- Tweaked UI specially for Creator's Update users on desktop, when receiving text or files, the app now moves into PiP mode and floats in the top right portion of the screen until the user has saved or opened the file or canceled the transfer.
-- Desktop users can now also drag and drop files into the app window to share with other devices.
-- New name! The app has been renamed from "Share Across Devices" to "Connected Devices" for clarity and consistency.
-- New tile icon!
-- Added Fluent Design Acrylic to the desktop app for Creator's Update users.
-- Added sorting to the devices list so they are now sorted by type then name rather than random.
-- Added new initial-landing-page look telling the user to select a device.
-- You can also now launch the device selector by clicking on current device window.
-- Added ability to favorite devices so they will always be at the top of the list.
-- Added ability to rename devices (nicknames) for better readability.
-- Enabled ability to attempt file sharing for all devices, even if firewalls are in the way. Will still fail, but now it's your choice.
-- UI overhaul to use accent colors throughout the app and tile.

I am really excited about giving this app a real workout once I am back on my home network.

Let us know if you try this and how it works out.

Check out the gallery of screenshots to see what the UI looks like on my local device. The names of other devices I sign into with the same Microsoft Account were already populated in the app first time I ran it on this system.


But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.


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