Skip to main content

Windows 11 just gained one of the primary reasons to buy a Mac

The Phone Link app being used on a phone and laptop screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Apple ecosystem is the reason many people flock to the Mac over Windows devices. They already own an iPhone, so buying a Mac that works easily with it seems like an obvious next step.

Now, however, the highly requested Phone Link app for Windows 11 finally supports iPhone, finally making some of those ecosystem features a bit more cross-platform. The update to the app was announced in late April but is available to use today.

Most notably, the Phone Link for iPhone update will allow you to use iMessage from a PC. You can connect your iPhone to a Windows 11 PC and send and receive messages through iMessage. You can also make and receive calls and phone app notifications while using a PC or laptop.

Microsoft began beta testing the Phone Link app for iPhone with its Windows Insiders in February. The company said feedback about the additional device support has been positive, with reviewers stating: “This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for on my Windows PC.”

The update is available for iOS in 39 languages across 85 markets. It works via a Bluetooth connection, as that is how the smartphone connects to a Windows 11 computer. Typically, iMessage has the smoothest transition from iPhone to iPhone. However, Microsoft makes Phone Link work by grabbing incoming iPhones’ text messages via Bluetooth and sending them to its own Windows application.

A screenshot of the Phone Link startup screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This functionality is interesting, however, it does cause some limitations within Phone Link for iPhone. For example, the app is unable to save conversation history beyond the present session and does not support group iMessage conversations, photos, or videos. Conversely, many of these features are commonplace on the Android version of the app.

Windows also doesn’t differentiate between iMessage and SMS text messages, so all bubbles will be gray bubbles in the Phone Link for iPhone app.

Requirements for using the feature include an iPhone running iOS 14 or later, the latest version of the Phone Link app, and a Bluetooth connection. With the official app version now available, it should update automatically. However, if it doesn’t, you can check out the Microsoft Store app for more information on the latest updates.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
The best Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time, whether you're working or relaxing. While we've already covered some of our favorite Windows 10 shortcuts, there are also a few you should try out in Windows 11. Here's a look at some of our favorite shortcuts and how you can use them to your advantage.
New Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Windows 11 brings a new set of keyboard shortcuts that aren't available in Windows 10. These shortcuts are catered to some of the new features in the operating system, like the Widgets Pane, Quick Settings, Notification Center, Snap Layouts, and Windows Copilot. Many of these shortcuts will require you to use the Windows Key (⊞), which you can find to the left of the spacebar.

Read more
Windows 12 could repeat Windows 11’s big mistake
surface laptop studio 2 review 07

The first details about Windows 12 are starting to take shape, and the rumored OS could repeat the biggest mistake of Windows 11. As we've heard previously, the new OS will likely have a big focus on AI features. Now, we're hearing that many of those features will require a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU), as reported by Windows Central.

It's hard to forget the fumble Microsoft made with Windows 11 and its requirement of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This security chip isn't included, at least in hardware, on the majority of off-the-shelf PC components, leading many to believe their PC wasn't compatible with Windows 11 when it really was.

Read more
This new Windows 11 shortcut made using my PC so much easier
The Digital Trends website on the KTC G42P5.

Microsoft is constantly adding new features to Windows 11, and it's easy for small quality-of-life updates to get buried under Bing Chat integrations and Windows Copilot. I discovered one such feature in the Windows 11 23H2 update a couple of weeks ago, and it's a simple shortcut: Ctrl + Win + V. 

Using this keyboard combination will pull up the new-and-improved volume mixer is Windows 11's latest feature update. It's been a massive time save for me, and if you use your PC in a similar way to how I use mine, it'll likely save a lot of time for you, too.

Read more