GOOGLE HAS taken a step closer to finally having a converged messaging service, as it rolls out a web interface for Android Messages.
The long-rumoured interface allows users to pair a desktop with an Android phone and to send and receive messages via your PC or laptop. Google says it wants the service to work in all major browsers, and at launch, it will support Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.
This brings Android further into line with iOS on one of the few areas it lagged - Apple users have been able to do this via iMessage for years.
XDA also reports that a Chrome OS version of Messages and a Material update of the Android app are impending too.
Says Google: "Today and over the next week, we'll begin rolling out Messages for web, one of our top-requested features that lets you send and receive texts from your computer.
"To get started, select 'Messages for web' in the menu of your Messages mobile app. On Messages for web, you can send stickers, emoji, and attach images in addition to sending text."
Also rolling out are a GIF search engine, Quick Replies and Preview links inline.
Before anyone gets too excited - it's worth noting that the quote says "over the next week" and sure enough, at time of writing, we haven't got access to the new version of Android Messages and so can't link up to the desktop yet.
It is hoped that once this, the major stumbling block to integration is overcome, we'll start to see other message services join the fray, starting with Hangouts and Allo.
At a time when we've lost two venerable messaging services in Yahoo Messenger and AOL, it's good to see that Google recognises the value of having a single interface across operating systems and form factors.
There are apparently ways of jumping the gun and setting up Android Messages early, but they involve Rooting your phone and we tend to shy away from "how-tos" that involve root. But Google it. µ
Under pressure, pushing down on me, pushing down on my screen
Keep an eye on that neighbour who's been talking about making a killer drone...
WiFi, why Delilah
We've only been waiting two years