iMessage comes to Windows via Microsoft Phone Link for iOS [Updated]


iMessage comes to Windows via Microsoft Phone Link for iOS
Quick, someone check to see if hell has frozen over.
Photo: Microsoft

Windows users can now send and receive messages and calls via an iPhone. The new capability — which many thought would never happen — comes courtesy of Microsoft’s Phone Link for iOS, which is rolling out now.

This is the latest software release from Microsoft to make it easier for Windows users to own an iPhone.

Microsoft started rolling the feature out in April, and announced on Monday it’s available to all Windows 11 users.

We never expected to see Microsoft Phone Link for iOS

Apple ensures that Mac and iPhone work together easily. That’s why it’s possible to send texts from a Mac, or make phone calls. Microsoft doesn’t make smartphones (not any more), but for years has made software to allow Windows and Android to collaborate.

In a reversal of course, Microsoft in recent months began introducing tools to allow Windows PCs to interoperate with iPhone, too. Including Wednesday’s software release.

“Phone Link for iOS will offer basic iOS support for calls, messages and access to contacts,” said Microsoft in a blog post. If this sounds familiar, the feature has been in testing by Windows Insiders for months.

“We hope our Windows 11 customers will never have to worry about missing an important phone call or text while focusing on their Windows PC,” Microsoft says.  “You’ll receive notifications on your Windows PC and can choose which action to take”

The Windows device doesn’t make a direct connection to any Apple online services. Instead, the PC and handset will communicate over Bluetooth, and the iPhone acts as a relay.

Phone Link for iOS must be installed. The software is free, and only for Windows 11, not earlier versions. For reference, Phone Link for Android has been out for years.

Windows ❤️ iPhone

As noted, this is only the latest move by Redmond to make it it easier for Windows users to own an iPhone.

Apple’s iCloud Photos is has been integrated into the Windows 11 Photos app. And Microsoft made Apple Music and Apple TV applications for its OS.

Note: This article was first published April 26, 2023 and was updated when Microsoft completed the rollout of Phone Link for iOS.


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