It has long been rumored that Google might allow Chromebook owners to send and receive text messages using their devices but that feature has not yet been released. That might change in the coming months. A new feature has been discovered in the Android 8.1 developer preview that Google launched recently. It’s called SMS Connect and will enable users to send and receive text messages via Chromebooks.


The SMS Connect feature will enable users to send and receive text messages from their phone using the handset’s carrier number on their Chromebook machine. They will also receive notifications on the Chromebook which will alert them to incoming text messages.

This feature was discovered in an APK titled “SMSConnectPrebuilt,” it’s launched through an activity browser and that’s where the setup screen for the SMS Connect feature pops up.

The references to this feature are clear as day in the latest developer preview of Android 8.1. However, even though Chrome OS does have an option to enable SMS Connect, the feature isn’t working just yet. It seems that Google needs to flip a switch behind-the-scenes for this functionality to work.

The references are enough to show that Google has been working on bringing this functionality to Chromebook owners. Whether or not it’s going to make the cut when Android 8.1 is released to the public remains to be seen. Google is yet to say anything about the SMS Connect feature.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Android 8.1, Chromebook and Google. Source: arstechnica

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