You Can Now Send Messages on Your Android Phone From the Web

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Android with 16 Comments

Google is rolling out the promised web client for Android Messages. The company today launched the new web app for Android Messages, which works similar to WhatsApp Web and Allo Web. To start messaging from your browser, all you need to do is open up Android Messages on your phone and scan the QR code shown by the site. Once that’s done, you will be able to access your existing messages or send new ones from your browser. You can send things like stickers, emojis, pictures, etc. as you would normally expect.

Android Messages is Google’s take on a standardised messaging platform for Android devices, based on RCS. The platform, supported by a bunch of carriers and Android manufacturers, works a lot like iMessage. It effectively offers a modern platform for messaging, allowing you to send and receive rich data without relying on SMS or MMS. Apart from the new web app, it’s also getting a couple of other new features — Smart Reply, link previews, ability to copy OTP codes from notifications, and the ability to send GIFs.

Android Messages — right now — is a bit of a confusing mess. A bunch of carriers support RCS and some device makers are including Android Messages as the default messaging app, but as a regular consumer, you will have a hard time finding out whether your carrier and device maker supports this new platform. Either way, there’s clearly a lot of work to be done here if Google really wants to build an iMessage competitor, but the web client is a good step forward.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “You Can Now Send Messages on Your Android Phone From the Web”

  1. ChristopherCollins

    Typo in the second paragraph, line two.

    careers should be carriers.

  2. cybrtitan

    I've been Pulse messenger for a couple of months now on my oneplus 5t and I think it is much more feature complete and cross platform available

  3. Chris_Kez

    I have to wince a little when I see a service launch with these qualifications: 1) Search the internet to find out if your carrier and device maker support this service, and 2) scan a QR code. If Android didn't have a billion+ users from which to draw a subset of hardcore fans, this app would be DOA.

  4. UbelhorJ

    Us normal people don't have the option to scan the QR code yet. Can I set it up and then go back to using my phone's default SMS app and it still work? Google's app is so jarringly white compared to OnePlus' dark theme.

  5. dcdevito


    I've been doing this (and more) with Google Voice since 2009.

  6. wolters

    We also need to receive the update to Android Messages on our phone. So far, I've not received it so no option for the web messenger yet. So, still chugging along with Join...which also does ALL notifications... :)

  7. skane2600

    I agree with dcdevito's comment on the Premium side. I also do this with Google Voice. I use it on a PC, not a phone. I don't really get the advantage of not using SMS or MMS on a smartphone. They are the most universally supported options.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to skane2600:

      The thing should be totally transparent like it is on the iPhone. When you use iMessages it does not matter if the other person has an iPhone or not. If the other person have an iPhone, which the system automatically detectes, it will get the full experience. If not it will get either an MMS or a SMS. It takes care of transforming say your emoji into an animated gif, embed the map or just put the link on, ... so on and so forth.

      One can even send an message to an email account, if that is the only address you have on your contact list for that person and get a reply in the thread.

      If you have a Mac or iPad paired with the iPhone one can do the same on those devices. Its all synched. across all network operators as far as I know.

      Effectively, Google Voice its a mobile operator on top the mobile phone subscription you already pay. That only thing free, at least in my country, is If you call another Google Voice number. The rest its payed to Google. But hey, I'm already paying someone for that with "unlimited" calls within the country. Why would I be paying twice?

      • skane2600

        In reply to nbplopes:

        At least for calls within the US you don't need to have any subscription or pay anything for calling or texting - you just need an Internet connection and free WiFi is abundant in most cities. In my particular case, I do pay for cell service, but when I have a PC available I prefer to use Google Voice because I can type my messages on a real keyboard which I find more comfortable than using a virtual keyboard with tiny letters.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to skane2600:

      I think the only reason why both MS and Google never got this act toguether it’s because both at some point wanted somehow to replace mobile operators, compete with them. Turning them into little more than data carriers.

      Apple policy is not to compete with anyone working on top of their platform with a few exceptions. They do

      compete with content marketplaces, devices and client side core software platforms. In that regard it’s comparatively closed, but this is kind of a muddy point. Any given soficiently large platform is exclusive of others in practice.

  8. rhrmn

    You might want to mention in the article that the wireless carrier needs to support RCS for Messages on the web to work.

  9. Daekar

    Pulse SMS does this already and works great - it also doesn't need your carrier to be special in any way.

    Seriously, one guy wrote an app that does almost everything Google's messenger client needs to do. WTF is going on at these companies?

    • bassoprofundo

      In reply to Daekar:

      Pulse SMS (or Pushbullet, or MightText, etc) doesn't advance the overall feature set of SMS, though. Same crap 1mb (or less) MMS limit, same lack of read receipts, same lack of presence... If this helps to push carriers to a standard RCS implementation, then we'll start to get a better standard that addresses those limitations but isn't platform specific. It'd sure be nice to stop getting horrible 1mb videos from family members who refuse to try an alternate messenger...

      • Daekar

        In reply to bassoprofundo:

        Oh, that's fair. It just seems like even the basic SMS version should have been completed and rolled out by Google YEARS ago. I did install Messages on my phone upon reading this article - I can't access the functionality yet, it seems. I expect that once it finally gets rolling, the Messages functionality will exceed that of Pulse, but because Pulse exists I'm not panting for Messages... I text from my work PC every day.

      • Chris_Kez

        In reply to bassoprofundo:

        When I was on Windows Phone and then Android I could never get more than one or two family members to move off of whatever their native messaging app was. Most of them have iPhones so they were happy with iMessage. A few had Android phones and weren't invested enough in messaging to bother. Now that I have an iPhone and mostly use iMessage with other iPhone users I finally understand the urge to convert those green bubbles to blue, lol.