Remember SMS Connect, the feature that is supposed to allow Android users to read and reply to text messages from their Chromebooks? This feature seems to be a Android 8.1 special. Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica shared this news while discussing new features from Android 8.1 Developer Preview.
It’s been a while since SMS Connect started showing up in Chrome OS settings. This feature however, never used to work. Looks like this was because the Android side of things was still getting ready. From the looks of it, this feature will debut with Android 8.1
Text Messages From Chromebooks
SMS Connect shows up under Settings when you enable the following flag:
Enable multidevice features Chrome OS
Enables UI for controlling multidevice features. #multidevice
The description for SMS Connect reads: “Get notifications for new text messages on your Chromebook”. The SMS Connect setup screen from Android 8.1 provides more details:
Read and reply to text messages on your Chromebook. To set up SMS Connect, allow access to your phone calls, messages and contacts.
This makes makes the word “multidevice features” from the Chrome OS flag more interesting. My assumption is that in future, we will see tighter integration between Chromebooks and Android phones. Something similar to what Microsoft and Apple currently offer.
I am hoping that this won’t be an Android 8.1 and later only feature. We really need this working on a wide range of Android devices so that it becomes one more selling point for Chromebooks!