Android Messages to Challenge iMessage with Web-Based SMS Michael Kwan February 9, 2018 News Google owns my life. I get my email through Gmail, my videos through YouTube, my schedule through Google Calendar, and my fake digital sticky notes through Google Keep. And as great as Android can be, it still lags behind in the messaging department with all of its unnecessary and confusing fragmentation. Well, it looks like an upcoming update to Android Messages could fix all that, including the ability to send and receive text messages through a web browser. The folks over at Android Police took a deep dive into the APK for Android Messages v2.9 and this revealed several new features that could be coming down the pipeline. Perhaps one of the most exciting is that Android users may finally have something built into Android that can rival iMessage on the iPhone. Put more simply, you may soon be able to send and receive text messages through a web browser. Yes, it's true that you can already do something similar with Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but this will finally be baked into Android Messages itself. From what they can see, this will work in much the same way that WhatsApp Web works. You go to a certain webpage on your computer, scan the QR code on your phone, and you're ready to go. The code seems to indicate that this will support multiple browsers and even multiple computers. Another tasty tidbit is mention of RCS or Rich Communication Services. This effectively elevates the messaging game beyond SMS/MMS and brings it closer to being on par with modern messengers. You get things like read receipts and typing indicators, for example. The hurdle is that Google needs carrier support for this to happen, so it may be limited to Project Fi. There's mention in the fine print that the "chat features are powered by Google," so that could mean that Google is willing to manage the cloud infrastructure for the RCS to happen. They just need to get the carriers on board. Which may or may ever happen, but hey, at least we're about to get web-based SMS, right? Share This With The World!