Video: What's new in Google's latest update to Android P?
Google has launched Messages for web, allowing Android phone users to send messages from a web app on their PC or Mac.
Google announced the new feature for Android Messages on Monday and will roll it out over the next week. Messages for web is one of the top requested features, according to Google.
To set up Messages for web, users need to install the latest version of the Android Messages app and on a PC go to https://messages.android.com.
On the phone, tap the menu option and select 'Messages for web' and then scan the QR code on the web page with a phone. There's also a toggle to 'Remember this computer'.
Messages for web works with Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, but it doesn't work from Internet Explorer, according to Google's support page.
The Messages icon will display a red notification on the browser tab when there are unread messages. It also shows a tally of unread messages and there's a dark theme or high-contrast mode to choose from.
Besides texting, Messages for web lets users send stickers, emoji, and attached images.
Messages for web is part of a wider feature update for the Messages mobile app, which now also lets users search and share GIFs.
Messages is gaining Google's AI-driven Smart Reply feature from the Allo app, which Google has 'paused' work on as it focuses on the potential SMS replacement, Rich Communication Services (RCS), and filling out the Messages app with new features.
Previously, Smart Reply in Messages was only available to users on Google's Project Fi network.
Two more features in the new Messages app are previews of links sent from friends, and the ability to copy one-time security codes from the app with a tap.
As part of its work on RCS, Google announced earlier this year that dozens of carriers and devices makers are including the Android Messages app as the default messaging app. A notable exception is Samsung.
Previous and related coverage
Google is teaming up with 15 mobile operators to speed up the adoption of a richer version of SMS that will offer chat apps more competition.
Apple's iMessage is the glue that keeps many users on iOS, and now it appears Google is readying a legitimate competitor.
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Users of Google's video calling app can now leave voicemail-like messages when their calls aren't answered.
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