If you have an Android smartphone you can now send and receive text messages from your computer.
Google has just rolled out a new feature, which is similar to offerings from WhatsApp, Line and Apple’s iMessage.
Using the new feature, you can send text, photos and stickers from the new web browser support version of Android Messages.
To get the new feature you need to be running the latest version of Android Messages, which if you haven’t already, can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Once downloaded, go to messages.android.com on your computer or desktop.
Follow the on screen instructions and you will be presented with QR code that is used to authenticate the link between your phone and computer.
Scan the QR code using the Android Messages app and tap the three dots icon in the top right of the screen. Then select ‘Messages for Web’.
As soon as the QR has been scanned the link will be established and you will be able to send and receive text messages from your computer.
All your Android Messages contacts and conversation will also be automatically synced.
One important thing to remember though – unlike with WhatsApp, iMessage and Line which send messages using an internet connection, Android Messages still uses SMS messages, so any texts you send from your computer will still incur the usual charge as if you sent them from your smartphone.
Another thing worth pointing out that WhatsApp and iMessage have over Google’s latest offering is in the form of security.
While Google says conversation threads and contact are encrypted, SMS messages are not, so that is something to consider if you are security or privacy conscious. By comparison, both WhatsApp and iMessage offer users end to end encryption making them more secure.
“With Android Messages, we’re creating a messaging experience that’s available on multiple devices, lets you share whatever you want to share, and makes it easy to take action on your messages with Google AI”, Android Messages Product Management Director, Sanaz Ahari wrote in a blog post.
“Today and over the next week, we’ll begin rolling out Messages for web, one of our top-requested features that lets you send and receive texts from your computer.”
Android Messages works on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.