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Forgive Google for all it’s confusing instant messaging apps. They all basically do the same thing with little to no difference from what one app does better from the other. Be that as it may, Google’s Android Messages has received a rather interesting update that will enable you to send/receive SMS messages from your desktop computer.

This new feature works in more or less the same way as the web version of WhatsApp, Telegram, and even Google Allo. You launch the app (Android Messages) on your phone and making sure you have internet connection on both your smartphone and computer. On your computer, launch your browser and go to messages.android.com.

The first thing to greet you on that site will be a big QR code located on the right side of the web page. Now turn to your smartphone and launch the Android Messages app. Tap the icon that has three dots running down vertically at to top far right corner of the Android Messages app. You will see Messages for web option in the menu list.

Next, tap on Scan QR code and the point your phone camera to the QR code displayed on your computer. It should take less than a second for your phone and the web page to pair up. When they do pair up, your phone should vibrate a little, and the QR code on the web page should disappear and replaced with a web version of your SMS inbox.

I might have jumped the horse a little here. For this tip to work, you need to be running the latest version of Android Messages on your phone. So if you do not see the Messages for web under the menu listing, you might want to update your app first and then give it another go.

However, if after updating you still don’t see the feature, it is probably because Google has not rolled out the service to your area. Google is rolling this feature in waves, and it might take a little longer before your area is supported too.

I also mentioned that you can send/receive SMS from your computer, but that only works for as long as both your paired smartphone and computer are connected to the internet. If for some reason, you don’t have access to your smartphone and/or it is not connected to the internet, the trick is not going to work.

One more thing, you don’t have to pair your smartphone to only a computer. You can do so with a tablet as long as you open a browser and go to messages.android.com then pair the two devices up. And lastly, Google says your “conversations threads, contacts, and other settings will be encrypted and cached on your browser.” But make no mistake, that does not mean your actual text conversation are encrypted. That is still subject to your cellular service carrier security settings.

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