In a bizarre twist, Windows OS is now supporting a vital iPhone feature

Windows 11 hero image
(Image credit: SOPA Images via Getty Images)

Something we never thought we’d see happen has, in fact, happened. In the latest update to its Phone Link app for Windows, the tech giant is bringing support to the Apple iPhone - most notably, iMessage for Windows 11.

According to Microsoft’s official blog (opens in new tab) and reported by The Verge (opens in new tab), the Phone Link app works by mirroring your phone on your PC for notifications, phone calls, and messages. With this update, iPhone users can now connect their devices to a Windows laptop or PC, send messages through iMessage, make and receive calls, and get notifications through Windows 11.

In an interview with The Verge, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, explains how it works. “We send the messages back and forth via Bluetooth, Apple I think in turn sends those as iMessage once it gets onto their system.” 

As impressive as this sounds, there are some setbacks involved.

a screenshot of iMessage working with Phone Link app on PC

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Users won’t be able to see the full message history, only ones sent or received through Phone Link. You also won’t see any blue or green chat bubbles since the system can’t tell between a regular text message and an iMessage one. Still, this is a surprising and big step in the right direction, one that could open up even more features and support in the future like photos integration. 

If you’re interested in testing this feature, Microsoft will begin beta testing with a small percentage of Windows Insiders who are in the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels. “We will increase the availability of the preview to more Insiders over time and based on feedback we receive with this first set of Insiders,” according to the official blog post.

This new update also comes with several other features like AI Bing and chat-powered searches on the taskbar, a screen recording feature, better touch optimizations, and more.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.