In late July, we uncovered the beginnings of what is now known as “SMS Connect.” What initially looked like SMS notifications for Chromebooks is now unfolding to be a native way for Chrome OS users to read and reply to text via their connected device.
Until now, the only solid evidence is buried behind a flag labeled “enable multi-device features.” Every few days, I check the flag and enable SMS Connect in my Chromebook settings to see if there have been any updates to the currently inactive feature.
However, the news is beginning to spread about new features found in the Developer Preview of Android Oreo version 8.1. Our friend Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica has a wonderfully extensive breakdown of what’s new in Android 8.1 and while there is much to behold, one feature, in particular, has us chomping at the bit.
Set up SMS Connect
The new feature isn’t quite up front and center as Ron informed me it required an activity launcher to enable but it’s right there in black and white. Robby hurridly switched his Pixel over to the Beta program to grab some quick screenshot which you can see below.
While it’s pretty clear that this new desktop integrated feature is very near, I find it odd that Google has made no mention of it. They are sort of the kings of “coming soon” when it comes to what their products can do and the October 4th launch of the Pixelbook would have been a great venue to introduce this new function.
Either way, I have a pretty strong feeling that we will see a lot of big additions to Chrome OS around the end of the year which should coincide with the launch of the freshest version of Android.
Stay tuned for more as it develops and don’t forget to check us out on social for the latest news for the world of Chrome OS.
Source: Ars Technica