Google is closing the gap between Android and iOS.
In an update rolling out today, Google is (finally!) releasing desktop support for the texting service, Android Messages. The update will allow Android smartphone owners to send and receive text messages straight from their laptops or desktops. Text, images, and stickers will be supported in the web version of the service.
Android users can get started by visiting the new Android Messages website. From there, they’ll be presented with a QR code that they’ll then scan with the Android Messages app.
Google says it wants the service to work in all major browsers. At launch, it will support Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.
The one caveat is that your phone has to connected to the internet — either through mobile data or WiFi. Depending on how many messages you send with pictures and other large files, it could be a deal-breaker in some situations. Google recommends staying connected to WiFi in order to save your mobile data while using the desktop service.
Google announced in April that they were aiming to fix Android Messages, and this marks the first major update to the service since the initial announcement. Additionally, in a similar move to Apple’s in iOS 12, Android Messages will now identify authentication codes and prompt them as fill-ins when appropriate.
Android Messages for the web starts rolling out to users today and will reach a large majority of users before the end of the week. Just be sure you’re connected to your WiFi when you’re using it.