It’s no secret that Google doesn’t have a great messaging option. With that in mind, they have just rolled out a new tool, which doesn’t exactly make things clear. Google recently launched Android Messages, but it’s a web-based tool. It gives you access to your Android SMS chats through a web browser and lets you send and receive messages. but is this what people want? Further, and what might be the bigger question, does this make Google a competitor for iMessage and WhatsApp? I think the answer is probably no at this point, but that doesn’t mean they’re not making progress. Or does it? Android Messages on the web, isn’t exactly a proper web client like the one you see on Facebook for example. Basically, all it’s doing is syncing conversations from your phone to your browser. Which is the same thing that the WhatsApp client does.The drawback is that you can’t use Android Messages on multiple computers at the same time, and you can’t use it at all if your phone has no connection. Which is a bit like the texting option from your Mac – or am I wrong? This feature should be live now for almost everyone. Head to the Android Messages portal, and you’re presented with a QR code; then, from the Android Messages app, tap the menu button (three dots, top right) and choose Messages for web. Tap Scan QR code, then point your phone’s camera at your web browser, and you’re in.There isn’t anything very fancy about the service itself. You’ve got your list of conversations, and then the conversations themselves. That’s it. Images, emojis, and stickers can be attached to your messages via the buttons at the bottom. The last button triggers a switch to MMS, which means MMS needs to be enabled on the recipient’s phone as well. You can get into your settings via the three-dot menu on the left-hand pane and then you can turn your browser notifications on or off. This also allows you to switch to dark mode, and get your browser to remember the connection to your phone. This last option means that you don’t have to repeat the QR code step again. But your mobile device still needs to be connected to the web via wifi or a cellular connection.Google indicates that while your conversations are cached and encrypted, they are also trashed after 14 days of inactivity. If you’re inactive for 14 days, you will also need to repeat the sign in process again. So remember the QR code steps. While it’s extremely convenient to type out texts using a keyboard, but the fact that your phone is still doing the communication is going to be frustrating to many. This is the main reason that I like iMessages. You don’t need your phone with you to send an iMessage on your Mac, but you do need it if you want to send a text message via your Mac. So what’s the big deal? It feels like Google is struggling a bit with this one, and I don’t think it’s that difficult.
Google has maybe come up with a way to compete with iMessage and WhatsApp, but they're not quite there. Is it that hard, Google?