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Just for the Chromebook users: You have a Chromebook, you may no longer have an excuse to ignore your friends’ texts. Android 8.1 which includes a new SMS Connect feature that could allow you to send and receive text messages on your computer.
The feature is currently being shown as an APK file in the developer preview. You might be able to launch and set up using an activity browser, and you may also need to enable it on a Chromebook by typing “chrome://flags” into your address bar and turning on Enable Multidevice features.
The operative word here is may. It seems that, for now, the buttons are a placeholder for a feature that is to come in the full version. Still, the nod to such an update is exciting.
Whether the function will be enabled on all Android phones or exclusively the Google Pixel remains to be seen. It’s also not clear how text notifications will be delivered. They could come in text onscreen, as do iMessages in macOS, or could potentially be incorporated into Google Assistant.
It’s already possible for Mac users to send and receive from a Macbook using iMessage. But you can only iMessage other iPhone users who also have iMessage enabled. If Chrome OS can send texts to all phone users, rather than just users of Google Pixel or Android, Google’s new feature could serve as a more versatile alternative.