When you are at work, you are more productive if you can see the text messages that you receive on your Android smartphone, on your PC, and reply from your PC. Until recently, this was possible only with paid third-party apps. Now, you can do it for free, using at least two services. Google offers the best of them, and it is named "Messages for web." Here is how to use this service to view the messages from your Android smartphone, send and receive SMS, and MMS messages, using a web browser, on any PC you wish:
NOTE: For this to work, you need to have the latest version of Android Messages on your smartphone. On your PC, you need to use a modern web browser, like Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Microsoft Edge. This does not work on old browsers like Internet Explorer.
Step 1. Use your favorite web browser and go to messages.android.com
If you want the website to remember your computer, and automatically load your messages from Android every time you visit, enable the switch that says: "Remember this computer."
If you do not enable this switch, you can view your messages from Android and interact with them only as you keep the site open. Once closed, you have to redo the whole procedure from this guide.
Step 2. Open the Messages app on your Android smartphone
Open the Messages app on your Android smartphone. Tap the three vertical dots in the top-right corner. A menu opens. In it, tap "Messages for web."
Step 3. Scan the QR code with your smartphone
On your Android smartphone, you see a new window where you are instructed to scan a QR code. Tap "Scan QR code," and when you see the camera, point it towards the QR code on your computer screen.
The camera scans the QR automatically, and on your PC, you should see your messages loaded, like in the screenshot below.
To reduce your data usage, it is a good idea to make sure that your Android smartphone uses an wireless connection, instead of your mobile data.
Step 4. Send messages and talk to the contacts on your Android smartphone, from your PC
In the column on the left, choose the conversation that interests you. Then, on the right, you can reply. Use the "Text message" field on the bottom of the window to type your message. To send it, press the SMS button.
If you want to start a new conversation, with someone that you have not talked with, click or tap Start chat in the top-left corner. Then, on the right, start typing the name of the person that you want to contact (if it is in your list of contacts) or their phone number. You can also add more people to the conversation, by clicking on the same field and choosing the next person, and so on. Use the "Text message" field to type your message, and press the SMS or MMS button, depending on what you see.
The messages that you send and receive from your web browser are also sent to your Android smartphone. Therefore, you have your complete chat history both in the browser and on Android, which is excellent.
Bonus: Send emojis, animated GIFs (stickers) and file attachments
In your conversations, you can attach all kinds of multimedia elements. Above the "Text message" field there are three buttons. The first is for adding emojis. Click on it, and then on the emoji that you want to send.
The second button opens a gallery with animated GIFs. The gallery is searchable so that you can easily find GIFs that match what you want to express.
The third button is for attaching files like pictures and videos from your computer. However, keep in mind that when you send files or animated GIFs, your message becomes an MMS. It is no longer an SMS. This means that you might incur more costs, as telecom providers tend to have different fees for sending MMS messages.
Wait, there is a cool Dark Mode too!
The Messages for web app evolves, as Google implements new features to make it more useful. A neat feature for some users is the Dark Mode. To enable it, click or tap the three vertical dots on the top of the column on the left. In the menu that opens, choose "Enable dark mode."
How do you like the Messages for web feature?
The Messages for web service seems to have feature parity with the Android app that you use on your smartphones. You have access to the same look, the same settings, and features. Test it out, and let us know how it works for you. Do you like this service? Comment below and let's discuss.