Back in February Microsoft started testing iMessage on Windows made possible through its Phone Link app. Now the company says it’s rolling out the feature to everyone running Windows 11. While the news may sound exciting, there are some notable drawbacks to Microsoft’s iMessage experience. Here’s what you need to know.
iMessage on Windows pros and cons
As a refresher, the latest version of Phone Link for Windows and iOS uses Bluetooth to connect iPhone and a Windows PC to pass along SMS texts and iMessages.
While you can send and receive both types of iPhone texts from Windows, there are a number of limitations:
- Your full message history won’t sync, you’ll only see messages that “have been sent or received using Phone Link.”
- You cannot send pictures or videos in messages
- No support for group conversations
- All messages appear in gray
As my colleague Chance mentioned back in February, since this is not an official integration of iMessage blessed by Apple, it’s possible the company could pursue and implement a way to block Microsoft’s Phone Link support. However, with the official rollout starting today, Microsoft obviously thinks it’s worth continuing on.
Phone Link for iOS and Windows 11 availability
Microsoft shared the news about Phone Link for iOS and Windows 11 with iMessage support rolling out to all users from today in a blog post (via MacRumors).
Today, we are excited to announce that Microsoft Phone Link for iOS on Windows 11 is beginning to rollout to our global audience in 39 languages across 85 markets. We recently announced that Windows 11 was expanding our Phone Link feature to enable the connection between a Windows 11 PC and an iOS mobile device with the goal of removing barriers between your phone and PC and making it easier to connect to the people you care about most.
Despite the limitations of the iMessage support of Phone Link, Microsoft says it’s been hearing positive feedback like “this is exactly what I’ve been hoping for on my Windows PC.”
While the feature is rolling out, the company says it will take until “mid-May” to show up for everyone globally.
You can download Phone Link for Windows from Microsoft and for iOS on the App Store here.
A couple more details, Phone Link for iOS requires iOS 14 or later and is not compatible with iPad. You’ll also need Windows 11 with Bluetooth on for both devices.
Check out more details in Microsoft’s Phone Link support guide and click on “For iOS users” at the top.
What do you think? Does the capability still sound useful even with the limitations? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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