Microsoft has announced that its Phone Link app will now allow iPhone users to access iMessage on their Windows laptops or PCs. The update will enable iPhone users to send and receive messages via iMessage, make and receive calls, and view their phone's notifications within Windows 11. The preview of the updated app is available for Windows Insiders.
Phone Link App and iMessage Integration
The Phone Link app uses Bluetooth to link Windows devices to iPhones, allowing users to send and receive messages via the Messages app. The app will enable users to message contacts who also have iPhones directly from their PC, but some features, such as sending pictures and participating in group messages, are not available. PC users will be shown their iMessage conversations in a simplified form.
Setup and Compatibility
The setup process for Phone Link now includes an iPhone option. However, users will only see messages that have been sent or received using Phone Link, and Microsoft is not using blue or green bubbles to differentiate between standard text messages and those sent via iMessage.
Comparison with Android Integration
Although the Phone Link integration for iOS is basic compared to what is available for Android, it is a step in the right direction, as Microsoft has never supported messaging or calls for iPhone users before. The Phone Link app is bundled with Windows 11 and is native compared to alternative PC link apps from other companies.
Testing and Availability
Microsoft is currently testing the new Phone Link support for iOS with a small percentage of Windows Insiders in the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels. The company plans to increase the availability of the preview to more Insiders over time, based on the feedback received. The new Phone Link support arrives with a big Windows 11 update that includes AI-powered Bing on the taskbar, a screen recording feature, better touch optimizations, and more.
While the Phone Link app does not offer photo integration, Microsoft already offers iCloud Photos integration in the Windows 11 Photos app. It is expected that this feature may be added to Phone Link in the future.
Technomancer is a science and tech enthusiast who enjoys writing about software and AI and other tech topics.