Google is starting to roll out several new features for its Android Messages app, including  a new GIF search option, support for suggested “smart reply” messages, and link previews.

But one of the biggest changes is that you may soon be able to send text messages from a laptop or desktop computer, thanks to a new Messages for web feature.

Here’s how it works: open the Messages app on your Android phone, tap the three dots to open the settings, and find the Messages for web option. Then visit in a desktop web browser and scan the QR code to link your phone with the web service.

Once that’s done, you should be able to send and receive text messages on a computer, attach pictures, or include stickers, emoji, and other visuals.

Google says Messages for web is starting to roll out today, but it might be a few weeks before it’s available to all users.


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8 replies on “Google “Messages for web” will let you send SMS from a desktop”

  1. If it’s truly SMS (and not just a custom protocol tightly coupled with SMS a la Apple Message), doesn’t that introduce some level of vulnerability in an age where SMS is the predominant medium for two-factor authentication? The major advantage of SMS is that it’s tied to a physical device, so you get the two factors of “knows something” (password) and “has something” (the device on which to receive the SMS). If one can login to send and receive SMS from any internet-enabled device, that seriously waters down the usefulness of it as a medium for two-factor authentication.

    1. As far as I can tell, this is nothing more than a fancy implementation of screen mirroring of the phone to the PC ala AirDroid. The phone (and possession thereof) is still 100% required for the SMS functionality.

  2. Perhaps title of this post should be “type” SMS messages on a desktop, not “send” since the phone is still required and still doing the actual sending.

    This seems like the same idea as Airdroid. Basically mirroring.

  3. What makes this better then Hangouts? I have had this functionality available for years. I am not complaining, I am curious and the article doesn’t explain.

    1. Hangouts for web doesn’t do SMS, does it? So you can basically just use the web interface to communicate with other people that are also using a Hangouts app for web or mobile, no?

      1. Been using Hangouts for Google Voice SMS from my Chromebook for years. Google keeps reinventing the wheel with all of these chat apps.

      2. Oh, it does. (It may only be a Project Fi and Google Voice thing or have other limits, I’m not sure.)

        The upside to this, I guess, is that it works everywhere… and also that Google is moving away from hangouts. 🙁

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