Though Microsoft never mentioned this when it announced Windows Insider build 14926 earlier this week, this build includes a nice surprise: It’s the first to feature the long-awaited “Messaging Everywhere” capabilities in the Skype Preview app.
UPDATE: This feature also requires you to be using the latest Windows Insider build on Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft now says:
SMS relay is part of this update, and allows users to send and receive SMS and MMS messages directly from a Windows 10 PC when Skype on your Windows 10 Mobile is set as the default messaging app. No need to reach for your phone, you can view new messages as they arrive and respond to messages from your computer. Send and receive texts, group messages, and photos all in one app with a single view of your SMS and Skype conversations.
On your Windows phone, launch Skype Preview, go to settings and select “Make Skype your default messaging app”.
If you’re familiar with the great Messaging Everywhere drama of 2016, you know that Microsoft originally planned to integrate smartphone SMS capabilities into Windows 10 but then later decided to switch that functionality to Skype. Which actually makes sense when you think about it, given that Skype is Microsoft’s messaging platform.
But fans were upset because Messaging Everywhere capabilities had been added to pre-release versions of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and some people were using them regularly.
Well, good news fans. Those capabilities are coming back, as promised. And this latest build—available now to Insiders on the Fast ring—gives us our first peek. You just need to enable this functionality first.
To do so, launch Skype Preview, open Settings, and enable SMS sync under “SMS”. (You’ll need to scroll down.)
Then, choose the Microsoft account you wish to use if prompted, since these messages will sync through that account. You can also optionally choose to download text messages from the past month, year, or all time.
I’ve just now enabled this feature, so we’ll see how well it works soon enough. But here’s the best news, especially if you were burned by the decision to move Messaging Everywhere into Skype: Because this feature is now part of an app and not the OS, it can be updated and improved with new functionality anytime. And that means we won’t need to wait for the next major version of Windows 10 to see this feature rolled out broadly, or improved going forward.
See? That wasn’t so bad.