- Microsoft Windows users can now send texts from their iPhones through their desktop computers, allowing users to actually control their phones from their computers.
- Most Americans use an iPhone, and Apple’s computer-phone integration is one of the advantages that helps explain why its Mac laptops have taken market share over Windows PCs in recent years.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Microsoft announced On Monday, the latest version of Phone Link for Windows 11 PCs can receive notifications, send texts and answer calls from a user’s paired iPhone.
Most Americans use the iPhone, and integration across Apple’s products has helped its Mac business take market share from Windows PCs in recent years. Last year, Apple accounted for about 10% of global PC shipments, with Windows operating systems accounting for the rest. according to to IDC.
Microsoft’s move could remove a barrier for PC buyers who might otherwise have opted for a Mac. Phone Link previously only worked with Android phones.
Phone Link doesn’t have nearly as many features as Apple Messages for Mac. It reportedly works via Bluetooth The Vergeand requires Microsoft’s Switch to Windows app to be installed on the iPhone.
A Windows PC with Phone Link enabled receives notifications from the user’s iPhone and displays the messages in Windows. It does not support group texts via iMessage, nor does it allow users to send photos or videos. Phone Link can only display messages that it has sent or received, so a user who sends some texts on their phone will not see that part of their message history in the Windows app.
“Messaging functionality is restricted by iOS,” the company said in Monday’s announcement. An Apple representative did not respond to a request for comment.