Phone Link for iOS is Now Available on Windows 11
It’s going to happen at last! Microsoft said today that the iPhone will soon be able to work with its Phone Link app for Windows 11. There will be a chance for some Windows Insiders to try it out first. Since Phone Link was first announced, this is the first time that iPhone users will be able to sync iPhone notifications, messages, and calls natively with Windows PCs.
Phone Link for iOS uses Bluetooth, while Phone Link for Android uses an app that is installed directly on the phone. To set up Phone Link on an iPhone, you just need to connect it to your computer via Bluetooth and follow the steps in the Phone Link app.
You can only send and receive messages, phone calls, and notifications in this first preview. You can’t reply to group messages or send media messages with Phone Link for iOS right now. Also, there is no way to share your screen, which makes sense at first glance.
Phone Link for iOS and the first Windows 11 feature drop for 2023 were both announced at the same time. This drop has a Taskbar that works better on tablets, a full-screen widgets panel, updates to apps like Notepad and Snipping Tool that come with Windows, Bing Chat in Windows Search, and a lot more.
Phone Link for iOS Now Available on Windows 11
In an early look, Microsoft said that Windows Insiders running the latest builds of Windows 11 would be able to use Phone Link for iPhone users. Microsoft Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc said that Insiders who have signed up for one of the 3 Insider Channels by going to Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program will start to get the preview.
“This week, only a small number of Insiders will get to see this preview first. So, not every Insider will see it right away.” Taking the feedback from the first group of Insiders into account, Microsoft plans to add more Insiders to the group that can use iOS early preview support in Phone Link over time.
Also, it’s important to know that the preview doesn’t depend on a certain version of the Phone Link app. Instead, it is controlled by Microsoft via the cloud. On devices where the Phone Link for iOS preview is available, you can choose your iPhone from the app’s home screen.
Next, you’ll be shown how to pair your device by confirming a QR code on your PC’s screen. After the pairing process is done and you’ve given the permissions needed to sync notifications and contacts, you’ll be able to see mobile notifications, keep up with message conversations, and make or take calls from your PC.
“Once the guided installation is done, your iPhone is paired with your PC, and the right permissions are given, Phone Link will provide basic iOS support for calls, messages, and contacts,” LeBlanc said. This means that Windows will let you know right away through its alerts.
You can’t send media in a message or reply to a group message with Phone Link. Phone Link replaced the Your Phone app in March 2022, when Microsoft also announced a new user interface for Windows 11 and a simpler way to set it up while installing Windows by scanning a QR code.
The Your Phone app was first shown at the Build developer conference in May 2018, and Insiders got it with the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17728 Redstone 5 in July 2018. It was first shown to the public in October 2018 at Redmond’s Surface event.
With the Link to Windows app and the Phone Link app, users can connect their PC to some Android and Samsung devices over Wi-Fi. Some Samsung, HONOR, and Surface Duo phones with Android 9.0 or later already have a link to Windows built in.
It can also be put on any other phone with Android 7.0 or later. Microsoft has also announced the release of the Windows 11 22H2 “Moment 2” update, which has a long list of new features, such as the new AI-powered Bing Chat feature that is now built into the Windows 11 search box.
How to Use Phone Link on Windows 11?
The first step is to get the “Link to Windows” app on your phone. If you have a new Samsung or Surface Duo device, this app will already be there. Also, make sure you’re using the most recent version of Phone Link. Check if it’s been updated by going to the Microsoft Store on your computer.
Once that’s taken care of, here’s what you need to do.
- Look on your computer for “Phone Link” and click the right link.
- On the screen that says “Welcome,” click “Start.” Link to Windows 11 on Phone.
- Copy the link https://aka.ms/yourpc and paste it into the browser on your phone. You should be taken to the Google Play Store Link for Windows 11 Phone.
- You should get the app if you haven’t already. Tap “Open” and then “Link your phone and PC” when everything is done.
- You should see a message that says, “Is your computer’s QR code ready?”.
- Tap continue
- Accept any permissions that are asked of you, and then hold your phone up to the QR code on your computer to scan it. If that doesn’t work, you might have to enter a PIN instead. Link to Windows 11 on Phone
- Tap continue on your phone, then Continue on your desktop
All done! Most functions are now working, but you’ll need to pair the device with your phone via Bluetooth and give it more permissions to make calls.
How to Use Phone Link on Windows 10?
Windows 10 does about the same thing, but it looks a little different:
- Look on your desktop for “Phone Link” and click the right link.
- Click “Get started” on the screen that comes up.
- Under “Sign in with Microsoft,” click “Sign in.”
- Type in the email address for the account and then its password.
- On your Android phone, go to www.aka.ms/yourpc.
- This should take you to the Google Play Store, where you can download the app. Click “Install” to get started.
- Once the app is on your phone, open it and click “Link your phone and PC.”
- On your computer, go to www.aka.ms/phonelinkQRC. This should immediately open the Phone Link app.
- Windows 10 Phone Link will make a QR code after a few seconds.
- Back on your phone, tap “Continue” and then “Allow” to give access to the camera.
- Hold your phone up to your computer to scan the code. For the last few steps, a mobile device will be used.
- Accept permissions for contacts, phone calls, SMS, photos, and other media.
- To move on, tap the next screen.
- You can choose whether or not to let the app run in the background.
- This is simpler, but it will shorten the life of the battery.
- Tap “Done” on your phone, and “Continue” on your computer.
The Phone Link app should now be ready to be set up. As was said above, you need more permissions and to pair your phone with Bluetooth for call integration. Unfortunately, Windows 10 can not be linked to iOS. But you can try it with other devices.
Still, it is not clear when all Windows 11 users will be able to use Phone Link for iPhones or what other features it will have. Microsoft says that it is working to make Phone Link more useful over time. For example, with Phone Link for Android phones, users can drag and drop photos from their phone to their PC using File Explorer or other apps.
Microsoft added a lot of new features to Windows 11, which came out in October 2021. One of these was Phone Link. The new operating system also has a redesigned Start menu that puts icons in the middle and shows recommended files and apps; a new Microsoft Store with more apps and games, including Android apps through the Amazon App Store; support for widgets that show personalized information; better performance and security; and more.
Phone Link for iPhones can be tried out by Windows Insiders who have updated the Phone Link app to version 1.23012.169.0 or higher. Users must create a Microsoft account and choose to get preview builds in Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program to become Windows Insiders. Users should know that preview builds could have bugs or problems that affect their devices.