Text messaging from desktop coming to Android Messages

In a bid to keep up with some other popular messaging platforms, Google appears to be on track to introduce texting from the desktop as part of their Android Messages platform. This would replicate a feature currently available in the Google Allo app and put Messages in a category with apps like iMessage, WhatsApp or even Facebook’s Messenger. Changes in an update to the Messages app that is currently rolling out indicate Google is planning to add some other features to enhance Messages as an instant messaging platform.

The code for the ability to use a web interface for the Android Messages platform was discovered in a teardown of the code for the version 2.9 update rolling out. Although the code is present, it has not yet been activated for users. All indications are that the feature will work much like Google does with Allo to get things setup. Users will be pointed to a web site on their computer and then scan a QR code to link the devices. The code also points to multiple devices being able to be linked to the service and all of them tying back to the initial phone running Android Messages.

In conjunction with the move to expand support for Android Messages to the desktop, Google also appears to be working on an improved implementation of RCS. RCS, or Rich Communication Services, gives end users the ability to do things like share higher resolution images than standard SMS texting or MMS allows, it can show typing indicators and supports read receipts. RCS is already present in Android Messages, but uptake has been slow because carriers are not jumping on support. To get around this, Google may be planning to take on some of the message delivery chores to avoid the carriers. This is indicated by code that says “chat features are powered by Google.” Google also added code to enable the use of a WiFi connection for texts as opposed to a wireless signal.

Another smaller, but not insignificant change included in the code is the ability to make payments to businesses. Google already added the ability to send money to other private individuals in an update last fall. The new code is clearly intended to support more traditional transactions as indicated by references to things like “Order summary”, “Payments Summary” and “CHECKOUT”.

If you are interested in getting the v2.9 update to Android Messages right away instead of waiting for the update to be available for your account, you can use the source link below to grab the APK. Since none of these new features are actually turned on and functioning at this time, there may not be any need to be in a rush to install.

source: Android Police

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, 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 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 an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.

  • Zathras

    I can do that with Google voice and hangouts. Google already has too many variations of msging apps.

  • i don’t know how many ,messaging apps we going to have.. we might reach the point that every user has his own app like cryptocurrencies

  • bstringy

    How did this get written without mentioning Hangouts, which has desktop and full SMS support? No one stumbled across it?

    • Jared Peters

      You mean the SMS support that was pulled in the middle of 2017? Unless you’re on Project Fi it’s meaningless.

      • bstringy

        I’ve been using Hangouts for SMS on my S8 and previously S7 and long before that. Also, been using a google voice number since 2009. Never been married to a sim card ever. Never had to port a phone number.

        • bstringy

          and been texting from a desktop for, oh I don’t know, 8 or 9 years? right?

          • Jared Peters

            Because you’re using Google Voice. Hangouts no longer supports SMS if you’re not using GV or Project Fi, which means it’s meaningless for a vast majority of consumers.

            That’s why we wrote it without mentioning Hangouts. Because we actually understand how it works. ;)

            • bstringy

              You forgot. It’s ok.

            • bstringy

              Writing an article about a Google product that allows texting from a desktop without any reference to the first product ever to do this, which Google developed long ago and continues to support with yet another Google product, is a simple oversight. I was just surprised by it.