Microsoft Now Rolling Out iMessage Support on Windows With Several Limitations

Microsoft today announced it is beginning to roll out iPhone support to the Phone Link app on Windows 11. In a blog post, the company said this functionality will be available to all Windows 11 users around the world by mid-May.

Windows 11 Phone Link iMessage
With the Phone Link app for Windows 11 and the Link to Windows app for iOS, iPhone users can make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and view notifications directly on their PC. Notably, this means Windows 11 kind of supports iMessage, although there are several limitations, including a lack of support for group chats, photos, videos, and conversation history beyond the current chat session.

All messages appear as gray bubbles in the Phone Link app, meaning iMessages and SMS text messages cannot be differentiated on a PC. In addition, messages are only delivered to a PC while the iPhone is connected via Bluetooth. Microsoft says the iPhone must be running iOS 14 or later, and this feature is not available for the iPad or Mac.

All in all, this is a rather clunky workaround to Apple's lack of true iMessage support on Windows, but it's better than nothing for iPhone users with a PC. Microsoft had been testing iOS support for the Phone Link app in beta since February.

Top Rated Comments

Choco Taco Avatar
14 months ago

I don’t use a combo of Windows-based PC and an iPhone, so I struggle to see the point here. From what I can tell, I’d probably just use my iPhone for messages and calls as opposed to barely doing so on my PC.
“I don’t use it, so I don’t see a point” is always such a winning statement. There are millions more iPhone users on Windows than on Macs. If you can’t see why this would be useful, I don’t know what to tell you.

Having said that, the entire selling point of Macs is iMessage capabilities and there’s also Apple’s walled security garden, so in general, I don’t see this lasting very long … as nice as it would be to have.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TinyMito Avatar
14 months ago
Alright, time to leave macOS for Windows.




/jk
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
14 months ago

iMessages and SMS text messages cannot be differentiated on a PC
Oh no, Windows users aren't subject to low-contrast, accessibility-unfriendly, punitive color schemes to try to manipulate users into badgering their friends to switch phone brands.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeeW Avatar
14 months ago

“I don’t use it, so I don’t see a point” is always such a winning statement. There are millions more iPhone users on Windows than on Macs. If you can’t see why this would be useful, I don’t know what to tell you.
Absolutely this. Never fails to amaze me how a lot of members either don't know or want to admit that the Windows user with an iPhone is by a significant margin more common than the Mac user with an iPhone.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigBlur Avatar
14 months ago

Apple’s going to kill this quickly sooner or later. Even with limitation, Apple won’t like the fact that iMessage is being sent out from non-Apple device.
Why would they? They're just doing this with standard messaging functionality over Bluetooth, similar to how messaging works in some cars. Also, Dell had a similar app for years.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
14 months ago
Clever way to workaround the limitations set by apple, similar to the implementation from Intel Unison app. Fortunately in my country no one uses iMessage so I don't have an use for this, and can use the new Whatsapp desktop client which works perfectly fine.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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