Apple’s iOS and MacOS provide very tight integration between the mobile phone and PC platforms. Ditto for Android and ChromeOS by Google. But what about Microsoft, whose cell phone aspirations died and were buried years ago? Windows has Phone Link. This phone link is a minimal option for managing calls and texts. After a short testing period, Phone Link can now support iPhone for all Windows 11 users.
Phone Link (and its predecessor, Your Phone) were previously limited to Android devices. Perhaps it’s because the more open platform connects more easily and is more aligned with Windows in terms of interoperability. But the mobile market is far more fragmented than laptops and desktops, and Microsoft eventually had to embrace iOS. Once connected to your iPhone, the Phone Link app can display mobile notifications on your desktop and make and receive phone calls and use at least some messaging system.
Phone Link on iOS, as you might have guessed, is slightly more limited than Android. First of all, it requires iOS 14 and is not available for iPad. Messaging is also limited to SMS (not Apple’s ubiquitous iMessage), and you can’t send images or videos or participate in group chats. Oh, and to access the photos on your phone, you have to open the Windows Photos app and connect to iCloud.
The Phone Link app should be installed for all Windows 11 users over the next few weeks. If you’re in a hurry, you can download it directly from the Microsoft Store.