Apple has finally made it possible to use iMessage on Windows 11. After years of waiting, users can now send and receive messages from an iPhone to a Windows computer.
Making iMessage available for use on Windows is a significant leap forward in breaking down platform barriers. In the past, Apple has chosen to keep its app restricted to its own devices, but Microsoft reportedly figured out a workaround that will allow many other people access to iPhone texts.
While the current offering does not support group messaging, photos or videos, it can still be an effective way for iPhone users to stay connected with Windows-based friends and family.
“Research has been telling us this is something our customers want,” Ali Akgun, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows and devices, told Bloomberg.
It’s important to note that currently, only Windows 11 users can take advantage of access to iMessage through Microsoft’s Phone Link app. The app uses Bluetooth to sync the iPhone and the PC for messages to be sent to the iMessage app.
You will be able to receive basic iOS support for calls, messages and contacts. The new feature lets you message contacts that also have iPhones from your computer and view iMessage conversations on your PC in a simplified form. However, there there are limitations.
You cannot send photos in messages or participate in group messages using this app. You also won’t be able to view the entire message history within conversations. Only messages sent or received using this app will be displayed. Additionally, Microsoft doesn’t use blue or green bubbles to distinguish between standard texts and those sent via iMessage.
However, this still provides users with an easy way to stay connected with people who have iPhones.
If you are an “Insider” who has opted into Windows Insider Preview Builds on your device, you can go to Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program to see if the preview has been rolled out to you yet. If you don’t have it, you’ll see a grayed-out “iPhone” button with a “Coming Soon” message on the Phone Link homepage. Microsoft plans to make this feature available to more Windows 11 users over time after feedback is received.
All in all, this new feature will make it easier for Apple and Windows users to stay connected, no matter what device they are using.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.