Google has the ability to text from the web with Android Messages. The feature gives users much more flexibility when it comes to choosing how and where they can make calls. As long as your Android smartphone is turned on, you can text from a desktop computer or even other mobile devices – including iOS products like an iPad if you just open Safari. In addition to text, you can also send emoji, stickers and pictures over the web.
Using Android Messaging on the Web requires you to use Android Messaging as your main SMS app on your phone. I just like it, and Google’s clearly planning big things for the future, but if you prefer, say, Samsung̵7;s standard messaging app or something else, the two will not work together.
With that out of the way, it’s pretty easy to get started and set things up.
- Make sure you have the latest version of Android Messages installed on your phone
- Go to messages.android.com on the computer or other device you want to send SMS from. You see a large QR code on the right of this page.
- Open Android messages on your smartphone. Touch the icon with three vertical dots at the top and top right. You should see the “Messages for the Web” option in this menu.
- Press “QR code scanner” and point the phone’s camera at the QR code on your other device. In less than a second, your phone vibrates and the two will connect. You should notice that your conversations appear in the left column of the browser window. Google states that “conversation threads, contacts, and other settings are encrypted and cached in your browser.”
Note: this does not mean that your actual text conversations are encrypted. They are not.
And that’s all. To make sure you do not have to repeat the QR process, you can keep your computer connected to your phone by activating “Remember this computer.” You will probably see a popup asking if you want to activate it the first time you use the web version of Messages. If you missed it, just go to the settings menu, which you can access from the web version of Android Messages by clicking on the three-dot icon to the right of “Messages”. (Of course, you should not turn this on if you are using a public computer that others can easily access.)
Which browsers work with Android messages on the web?
- Microsoft Edge
Lol I just sent a text from my Android phone with Safari on my iPad it turns out that the web is nice.
– Dieter Bohn (@backlon) June 19, 2018
Remove computer access to your messages
If you want to revoke a browser’s access to your conversations and messages, you can quickly do so from your Android smartphone. Go back to the “Messages for the Web” area of Android Messaging, and you can choose to log out of individual computers or all with one click.
There is a dark situation!
Dark themes can come in handy if you find that all the app’s white and light shades of gray can overload your eyeballs at night. To activate the dark theme for messages on your mobile phone, tap the same icon with three vertical dots and look for “Select theme.” You can go with light, dark or system default.
In the web app, you will find “Activate dark theme” in the menu that you get after clicking on the three-dot icon to the right of “Messages.
Keep the phone switched on
Android messaging on the web can not work independently of your smartphone. So if your battery runs out or your phone shuts down for any reason, you will not be able to send any texts from your computer.
Drag media to the conversation with Android messages
Sending a photo from Android messages on the web is dead easy. You can either use the attachment icon – to the right of the emoji and stickers – or just drag and drop media in the conversation window to send an MMS.
Update 5 October 17:05 ET: This article was originally published on June 19, 2018 and has been updated to include minor changes to the menus.