Google may be adding SMS notifications to Chrome OS desktop

If you are a big user of SMS messaging and also spend lots of time working on a computer, then you likely appreciate the ability to send and receive messages on the desktop and having threads stay synced across devices. This is one of the big reasons so many people gripe about an app like Allo not providing this capability and forcing users to rely on third-party apps or services instead of being able to stick with their preferred Google platform. For Chrome OS users, that may be changing in an upcoming update based on some findings in a recent development release.

A user who has been running the development version of Chrome OS recently discovered a new menu item for “Connected Devices” that includes an option to turn on SMS notifications on a Chromebook. Making this option available to an end user is a bit of a challenge as one has to correctly guess the Chrome flag named “Enable multidevice features” is where it lives. Once enabled though, the option for SMS notifications can then be turned on via the settings page for Chrome.

Unfortunately, after going through the trouble of finding and turning on this option, users will find it does not actually do anything and will even turn itself off after one leaves the settings page. Still, the fact that this exists in a development build of Chrome OS suggests Google is trying to get to the point where delivery of SMS messages to the desktop becomes a reality. This does leave some questions as to whether it will just be a read-only situation or if full on sync and the ability to send messages from the desktop will also exist. Currently, sources have not located any other code specific to this function that would shed some light on how it may work.

One guess on how Google may roll out support is that it may live as part of the Google Assistant when that platform extends to desktops, at least on Chrome OS. The Google Assistant with support for reading text messages is already available on Google Home devices, so extending that feature to the desktop should not be a big stretch.

Outside of that, things become much more murky as users will surely be looking for support via their favorite Google messaging platforms, notably Allo, and whether this gets extended to other operating systems.

source: Chrome Unboxed
via: The Verge


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.