Google has finally brought Android Messages to the web. The move is a step towards revamping its messaging strategy, which is still a little confusing.
Google has launched a number of messaging apps over the past few years, and not many of them have met with the success that the company is undoubtedly looking for. With Android Messages, the default texting app on most Android smartphones, Google is looking to Rich Communication Services and its newly-announced Chat platform to compete with Apple’s iMessage, which has had an MacOS desktop client for some time.
Android Messages will be the company’s focus for the foreseeable future, and Google has been porting a lot of features from Allo over to the RCS-supported app. One such feature is a web client.
The full roll out for Android Messages for the web is complete. All you need to do is head to the Messages for web website, open up Android Messages on your phone (or download it on the Play Store), tap the triple dot menu on the top right, and hit the Messages for web option on your phone. Scan the QR code, and you should be good to go. The feature should work on any modern web browser.
Android Messages for Web is now fully deployed – make sure you have the latest Messages client, and then head over to https://t.co/diVFeAffVS to try it out!
— Justin Uberti (@juberti) June 26, 2018
There are a few extra features hidden in the Settings on the web version, such as a dark mode.
This isn’t the first time texting from an Android phone has been available on desktops. Third-party services like Pushbullet have been around for some time now, allowing you to access texts and other notifications on your computer. Still, a native way to do that is likely to gain a lot more traction — and hopefully be a whole lot easier to use.
Access to Messages for web isn’t the only new feature in Android Messages. Google has been adding new features to the app for some time now. For starters, when you tap the “+” icon, you’ll now be able to search for GIFs to add to your conversation. Google has also added Smart Reply to Messages, allowing you to reply to a message with the tap of a button without having to type it out. Messages will also now let you preview links before you open them up. And the app will now let you easily copy one-time passwords and security codes.
Android Messages is also set to better take on iMessage with support for Google Chat, or Google’s version of RCS. Google has been working with a slew of carriers and manufacturers to bring Chat to Android, and it’ll allow for long messages, read receipts, larger attachments, and so on. Overall, it should really bring texting into the 21st century.
Update: Added news that the full global roll out has completed.