Windows has today announced an early preview of Phone Link for iOS on Windows 11 that will let users link their iPhone to their Windows PC and use features including iMessage.
“We are beginning an early preview of Phone Link for iOS on Windows 11 with Windows Insiders,” the company stated, with a preview rolling out to Insiders this week.
Users on the Preview will be able to pick “iPhone” as an option on the Phone Link homepage (where you can already link your Android device). “We are beginning this preview with a small percentage of Insiders at first throughout this week, which means not all Insiders will see the preview right away,” Microsoft stated in a press release (opens in new tab) Tuesday.
Using iMessage on Windows 11
You’ll then get a series of steps to help you pair your iPhone and your PC over Bluetooth, including giving permission to access your notifications and contacts. Once completed, you’ll be able to use “basic” iOS functions including calls, messages, and contacts, with notifications coming directly through your Windows notifications. However, there are a couple of big limitations. This won’t support group messages or sending media, so no gifs, images, or videos. It’s a pretty heavy shortcoming, but this is a very early beta feature for Windows users.
Still, it’s nice to know that Windows users have something in the pipeline for better iPhone support and integration. Apple has previously rolled out new versions of Apple Music and Apple TV for Windows, all signs that cross-platform integration and interoperability are improving. However, we’ve got a long way to go before everyone on Windows can get fully functioning iOS and iPhone integration and support.
Users will need Phone Link app version 1.23012.169.0 and higher, but the preview itself will be controlled via the cloud. Microsoft plans to roll out increased availability over time based on feedback from the first set of insiders.