Windows users can now access Apple’s iMessage directly on their PC through Microsoft’s Phone Link application. This is the first time Phone Link has been properly available with a connection to iPhones. Microsoft previously previewed the app on iOS when it was known as Your Phone but is now delivering full iMessage support.
If you’re unfamiliar with Phone Link, you may know it better as Your Phone. That was the name prior to the launch of Windows 11 when Microsoft rebranded the app. Your Phone arrived three years ago as a bridging application that lets users view and use their smartphone on their Windows desktop.
With the latest update, the Phone Link app allows iPhone users to sync their smartphone with a Windows 11 device. With iMessage support, users can send/receive messages and calls, and also see phone notifications on Windows.
Windows and iPhones will be connected through Bluetooth, so users can also manage messages directly from their contacts. However, there are some things Phone Link will not do. It is not possible to send media (photos or videos) or to access group messages.
“We send the messages back and forth via Bluetooth, Apple I think in turn sends those as iMessage once it gets onto their system,” explains Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, in an interview with The Verge.
Another caveat is that you cannot see the complete message history within conversations. In fact, you can only see messages that were sent/received when Phone Link is connected. Microsoft is also not using the blue or green bubbles so an iMessage message will look like a standard text message.
Of course, all of these missing abilities may be brought to the feature in the future.
Tip of the day: Windows lets you use Cortana to translate sentences, words, or phrases, with the results read back to you automatically. This makes it particularly useful for group scenarios, but you can also type if you’re unsure about pronunciation. Cortana translation sports an impressive 40 languages and utilizes machine learning to provide natural results in many cases. Check our full guide to learn how to use Cortana for quick translations.