Man using phone

Android Messages 2.9 app code hints at future web interface for phone and PC texts

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A teardown of the Android Messages v2.9 application package suggests that Google is planning to develop a web interface for sending text messages, similar to Apple’s iMessages, as well as enabling payments through Android Messages.

The application package for the upcoming version of Android Messages, v2.9, contains suggestions that Google is working on a web interface for sending text messages via computer. This could pair a phone with a laptop or desktop computer in order to send text messages.

Phrases in the package include “Messages for Web”, “Scan your QR code”, “Text over Wi-Fi and data” and “Sign out of all computers”.

The updated app would likely direct users to visit a web site on a browser on their PC, where they can scan a QR code to pair their phone and computer. Once paired, users can use Android Messages on their computer, while the phones themselves do the SMS or MMS communication.

With its new Messages app, Google may adopt Rich Communications Services (RCS), a universal standard aimed at replacing text messages with an enhanced, more multifunctional messaging system, including group chats, longer texts, ‘read’ receipts and high-resolution photo sharing. In 2017, Google announced its partnership with Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company, to launch RCS messaging to Asian and European users.

The new Android Messages could resemble Allo, the instant messaging app developed by Google for Android and iOS. Like Facebook’s WhatsApp – which also offers a popular desktop interface – the app uses phone numbers to identify users and offers optional encryption for messages and multimedia messages.

According to an Android Police teardown, Google may also be making plans to allow Android users to make purchases using the Android Messages app. While Google Pay already allows Android users to send payments to their contacts directly from a text conversation, this service as it is today is not suitable for larger scale use by businesses.

The Android Police web site has reported strings such as “Buy with Google”, “Checkout” and “Payments Summary” in the Android Messages package.

So far, there have been no official announcements regarding these projects. Until such an announcement occurs, these new features remain entirely speculative.

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