Microsoft has announced that the latest version of Phone Link for Windows 11 PCs now supports iPhones, allowing users to receive notifications, send texts, and answer calls. This move aims to attract computer buyers who may have been inclined towards Macs due to Apple’s integration across its product lineup. While Phone Link has fewer features than Apple’s Messages for Mac, it marks a step towards enhancing interoperability between Windows PCs and iPhones. Apple has not yet commented on this development.
Microsoft made an exciting announcement on Monday, revealing that the latest version of Phone Link for Windows 11 PCs can now receive notifications, send texts, and answer calls from a user’s paired iPhone. This development is significant considering that a majority of Americans use iPhones, and Apple’s seamless integration across its product lineup has allowed its Mac business to gain market share from Windows PCs in recent years. According to IDC, Apple accounted for approximately 10% of global PC shipments in the previous year, with Windows machines dominating the rest.
By expanding the compatibility of Phone Link to include iPhones, Microsoft has effectively removed a potential barrier for consumers who may have been considering a Mac as their computer of choice. Previously, Phone Link only supported Android phones, but this new update opens up the functionality to iPhone users as well.
It’s worth noting that Phone Link does not offer the same extensive feature set as Apple’s Messages for Mac. The software operates via Bluetooth and requires the installation of Microsoft’s “Link to Windows” app on the iPhone. Once set up, a Phone Link-enabled Windows PC can receive notifications from the user’s iPhone and display their messages within the Windows interface. However, there are some limitations to its capabilities. For instance, it does not support group texts through iMessage, nor does it allow users to send photos or videos. Furthermore, the Windows app can only display messages that it sends or receives, meaning that any texts sent directly from the iPhone will not appear in the message history of the Windows app.
Microsoft clarified in its announcement on Monday that the messaging feature’s limitations are imposed by iOS, the operating system that powers Apple devices. As of now, there has been no response from an Apple representative regarding this update.
This latest move by Microsoft showcases its commitment to enhancing the interoperability between Windows PCs and iPhones, aiming to provide users with a more seamless and integrated experience across devices. With Phone Link’s expanded functionality, Windows users can now enjoy the convenience of receiving notifications, sending texts, and answering calls from their paired iPhones directly on their Windows 11 PCs. While there are still some feature gaps compared to Apple’s offerings, this development signifies a step in the right direction for Microsoft as they strive to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their user base.