Google Messages App Update Could Enable Texting From Any Desktop PC

If you use an Android smartphone, you are probably familiar with the Android Messages application (since it is the default messaging application used on many devices). There are other Android messaging applications out there in use on some devices. One of the things that Google is doing with Android Messages is to rollout support for Rich Communication Services or RCS. 

android messages

The cool thing about RCS is that it could replace traditional SMS messaging with a text messaging system that is more flexible with phonebook polling for service discovery, and it would open the door to be able to send messages from multiple devices. Android Messages 2.9 has hints in its code that indicate this might be the version where a web interface for sending messages is integrated.

This would allow users to send and receive text messages via Chrome rather than having to stick to that small keyboard on your device. Hints in the APK teardown indicate that you would scan a QR code and pair the smartphone with the PC. The image below shows the code in question.

qr code
image via XDA

Once this feature is fully implemented, there will be several web browsers supported including Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Apple Safari. XDA-Developers does point out that there are categories in the browser section for "other" and "unknown" hinting that other browsers might work with the RCS feature.

There are indications that users may need to connect to the PC each time they want to send or receive messages over a browser. It is thought that the service will remember your computer, so you won't have to scan a QR code each time. The APK also hints at a feature that will allow users to send payments over Android Messages, although it's unclear exactly how that would work.