It has been almost a year since we discovered the makings of native SMS messaging on Chrome OS. Over time, we saw various updates to the project. At one point, we even found an SMS toggle in the Chrome OS settings menu.
Then, in late October of 2017, Ron Amadeo unearthed the new “SMS Connect” feature in the developer preview of Android 8.1 on the Pixel Phone.
Well, not much. In traditional Google fashion, it looks like this messaging initiative has been abandoned. The SMS flags have been removed from Chrome OS and the settings page for “SMS Connect” toggle still does absolutely nothing. Still, the “connected devices” section of the Chrome OS settings page is still there so long as you have the proper flags enabled so clearly, Google is still tinkering with something.
Today, however, XDA Developers has found some very interesting information that may shed some light on Google’s intentions for Messaging on Chrome OS.
Add a feature flag for CrOS Android Messages integration.
It would seem that Google has redirected their efforts to align with the new direction they’re headed with Android Messages and “Chat.”
As XDA points out, it seems a bit odd that integration for Chrome OS is being developed since Google already has an Android Messages web client in the works. However, being the Chrome junkies we are, we’re excited to see this move by developers. It really feels as if Google is looking to bring all of their platforms together inside the Chrome OS ecosystem and that’s a huge win for Chromebook users in general.
My device is currently on the Developer channel and I have yet to find this flag. So, I’ll be headed to Canary this afternoon in the hopes an update will give us a sneak-peek at the Android Messages function. Being that it’s still early in the game, it’s plausible this new feature could be developed over coming months in preparation for Google’s October event that is quickly becoming a standard for featuring the best and brightest from Mountain View.
I’ll report back with any updates to this new feature as they arrive.
Source: XDA Developers