Apple has made it very simple for iOS users to pick up conversations on their Apple computers right where they left off on their iPhone and iPads. This is through something that they call Handoff, which connects your iPhone, iPad, and Mac all together through iCloud. You can pick up a conversation on almost any device.
iPhone and iPad owners who use Windows- or Linux-based laptops and computers must look for an alternative solution, unfortunately.
Fortunately, there are quite a few available, and, in this article, we’ll show you the most popular ones.
What Doesn’t Work
Even though virtually all modern instant messaging applications come with online browser-based services, iMessage doesn’t. The service supports only iOS and Mac OS X operating systems—sorry Android users.
Apple wants to limit iMessage to its own service, and rightly so -- it's one of the services that sets iOS and macOS apart from everyone else. You do at least have a couple of options available to you.
If you’re a Windows or Linux user, and you want to send and receive iMessages without purchasing an Apple computer, there are some proven options that will help you achieve your goals.
The simplest way to access your iMessages from a Windows or Linux computer is to use Chrome’s Remote Desktop feature to connect to your Apple computer.
You will need to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on the devices you want to connect with each other and go through a very simple, self-explanatory setup procedure.
In a nutshell, you will be given access to using which you connect to your Mac desktop from your Windows or Linux computer, allowing you to use iMessage remotely.
The obvious downside to this method is the need to own an Apple computer to begin with. Given this requirement, you might be better off just using iMessage on the Apple computer.
Jailbreak your iPhone
The second method is somewhat more complicated, but much more useful. It involves jailbreaking your iOS device and installing an app called Cydia, which is a directory of applications usable on a jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch. We don't necessarily recommend this, because it will void any warranty that you currently have. And if something goes wrong, Apple will outright refuse to fix your phone.
But, if you plan on continuing, here's the process -- in Cydia, you’ll find an app called Remote Messages, which costs $4 from the BigBoss repo. This app sets up a web-based interface to which you can connect using your iPhone’s IP address on the browser followed by :333. Don’t worry about these details—the app will explain everything to you. You can configure a password for security purposes and well as several other things.
To log into iMessage remotely, just open your favorite web browser and enter the provided IP address followed by the server port number.
Use a Free Emulator
Most modern computers are so powerful that they can emulate other operating systems, including Apple’s iOS. The most popular iOS emulator for Windows is called iPadian. You can download it from its official website and install it just like any Windows applications.
iMessage doesn’t come originally for any other OS apart from Apple’s very own iOS. But there’s an emulator that will trick your dmg file into running on your Windows PC. It’s called iPadian. Here’s how you can use it.
When you’re done, launch it and look for iMessage in the search bar. iPaladin should find the app and allow you to install it. From there, you can simply launch it and enjoy using iMessage on your Windows PC. Keep in mind that the emulator is far from flawless, but it gets the job done.
Besides iMessage, you can also use iPaladin to play popular iOS game, try how the operating system works, and do many other interesting things. The developers update it on a regular basis, so any bugs that might get in the way of your user experience will likely be sorted out in the near future.
Get iOS Notifications on Windows
A very useful, lightweight solution how to connect your iOS device to your computer is Pushbullet. This service acts as a bridge between your mobile and desktop OSes, allowing you to send text messages, see your phone’s notifications, follow interesting things, send files, chat with friends, send links, and more. If you spend long hours working on your computer and hate being distracted by intrusive notification messages on your mobile devices, this app can be a true life-saver.
Use Another Instant Messaging App
As much as we love iMessage and the way Apple has integrated it with the rest of their products, its functionality doesn’t come even close to modern instant messaging apps like Telegram. Not only does telegram run on virtually all operating systems, but it also supports state-of-the-art encryption, groups of up to 5000 members, self-destructing messages, large document and file sharing, seamless synchronization, and more.
Using iMessage on a Windows or Linux machine is virtually impossible, unless you plan on connecting to a MacBook via a remote service, as mentioned earlier. iMessage is a proprietary Apple service that few have been able to replicate, and they're not going to easily share that market share, especially since it helps drive sales for other products.
That said, if you must have an iMessage-like service on your PC, using another messaging application may be your only choice.