Google is inching closer to allowing Chrome OS users to see text messages from their phone. The evidence for that plan first appeared almost a year ago in the form of an ‘SMS Connect’ feature. Now, it seems that Google will make that feature a reality by bringing a web client of Android Messages to Chrome OS.
Applications like Pushbullet and other similar software already allow users to control their mobile applications on their primary computing device. Now, Google wants to enable such feature natively, at least for those using Chrome OS. The details of SMS Connect feature with Android Messages has been spotted in the form of a new commit.
As spotted by XDA Developers, a new commit on the Chromium Gerrit repository adds a feature flag for “CrOS Android Messages integration.” It means the previously spotted SMS Connect feature will be easily available to try for Chrome OS users. For those interested, the feature can be enabled from the chrome://flags page. The changed files do not reveal how the feature will work but it does suggest there will be some kind of pairing process with the phone to allow users to see text messages on their phone using the desktop client.
It is most likely that Google will adopt the pairing process to similar to Allo’s desktop client. The commit on the Chromium Gerrit repository indicates the feature is set to go live soon. While Google controls the smartphone market with its Android OS, the desktop ecosystem is still dominated by Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s macOS devices.
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With Chrome OS, Google has built a viable alternative that has been designed with mobility and interoperability in mind. In order to make Chrome OS a successful mobile platform, Google has already brought support for Play Store, its excellent Gboard keyboard and SD card support. With the integration of native Android features like Messages, Google will make it easy to switch between an Android smartphone and a Chrome OS-based desktop. This should particularly help with sales of Google’s Pixelbook which is a premium hardware running the Chrome OS experience.