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Microsoft's Phone Link app will now work with iMessage (with some limitations)

By Kenny Yeo - on 1 Mar 2023, 9:44am

Microsoft's Phone Link app will now work with iMessage (with some limitations)

Microsoft's Phone Link app (Image source: Microsoft)

Microsoft's Phone Link will finally support Apple's iMessage. This means iPhone users will, at long last, be able to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and view notifications from their phones directly on a PC.

There are, however, several notable caveats. To start, this will only work on Windows 11 machines. Also, Phone Link is unable to show the full message history for conversations. It will only show messages that were sent or received using Phone Link.

That's not all, Phone Link will display all messages as grey bubbles because it is incapable of differentiating messages that are sent via iMessage and those sent via SMS.

Phone Link also doesn't support group chats. And, perhaps most crucially, does not support sending photos and videos.

Microsoft did not explain nor elaborate why there are so many restrictions on its integration with iMessage.

According to Microsoft, Phone Link works with iMessage via Bluetooth. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, explains:

We send the messages back and forth via Bluetooth, Apple I think in turn sends those as iMessage once it gets onto their system.

While Phone Link's support for iMessage is decidedly rudimentary, any kind of support is better than no support at all. And we can only hope that Microsoft continues to work on its integration with iMessage in the future.

Currently, this feature of Phone Link is only available as a preview starting this week for "a small percentage" of Windows Insiders inside its Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels. Microsoft says it will increase availability to more Insiders later using feedback received from this first batch of Insiders.

Source: Microsoft

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