SMS Connect Comes to Skype Insider Preview

Posted on September 10, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Skype with 20 Comments

Microsoft is now offering its first external peek at SMS Connect for Skype, which lets you receive Android-based text messages on your PC.

“Starting today, SMS Connect will be gradually rolled out to Skype Insiders on Android phones with 8.30 builds and higher,” a Microsoft employee identified only as Karah explains in the Microsoft Answers forums. “With this new Insider build for Android you will be able to pair your Windows PC or Mac (both must be on the Skype Insiders build as well) to your phone to start receiving your SMS conversations to your desktop. No more grabbing your phone every time it buzzes with a new SMS, you’ll be able to respond directly from your desktop.”

If this functionality seems familiar, it may be because it sounds an awful lot like the text message functionality in the Your Phone app for Windows 10, which debuted last week in preview form.

Or maybe it’s because it sounds like the Messaging Everywhere/SMS Relay feature that Microsoft first promised in 2016, sort-of delivered in Skype in late 2016, and then never really came through on.

So why have both Your Phone for Windows 10 and SMS Connect in Skype? My guess is that it’s because Your Phone is only available in Windows 10, whereas Skype 8.x works in all supported Windows versions. But yes, I’m just guessing.

Anyway, assuming you meet all the prerequisites—e.g. are not using an iPhone—you can read and respond to individual and group text messaging conversations, receive photos and videos, and start new text messaging conversations from your Mac or PC.

What you can’t do is replace your Android messaging app with Skype.

“SMS Connect is a desktop only experience,” Microsoft says. “Continue to use your default messaging app on your Android phone to view your SMS conversations [there].”

 

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