Windows 11 Phone Link supports limited iPhone syncing in preview
Microsoft is taking its first steps towards bringing iPhone syncing to Windows 11. The company announced today that the Insider preview of Phone Link would support iPhones starting this week. The feature (which has undergone several name changes) has worked with Android phones since as far back as 2015.
The initial preview will only sync calls, messages and contacts from your iPhone to a Windows 11 PC. (It will show them like regular Windows notifications.) However, there are some limits: You won’t be able to reply to group messages, and sending media in messages is also unsupported. Still, it’s a big step in the right direction for a feature that has thus far excluded the countless people who use both iPhones and Windows PCs.
Microsoft says Phone Link for iPhones will only roll out to “a small percentage” of Windows Insiders this week; it explicitly states that not all Insiders will initially see the option. Instead, the company will expand the preview to more Insiders as it gathers feedback from the first batch of testers. Further, access is cloud-based, so there won’t be a specific version of the Phone Link app that instantly lets you use the preview.
If you’re one of the lucky few accepted, you’ll see an option to link your iPhone in the Phone Link app. After choosing it, it will guide you through the steps to pair your phone and PC over Bluetooth (including scanning a QR code). You’ll also need to confirm a code and grant permissions on both the Windows and iOS sides to ensure everything syncs up.
The feature follows Intel’s Unison app, which supports calls, messages, notifications and file transfers between phones (including iPhones) and Intel PCs. Several third-party apps like AirDroid have offered similar functionality for years.