For years Android users have been pining for the type of software that iPhone users get to use with iOS: iMessage. It’s a coveted feature that allows you to send text messages to friends over the WiFi, but it only worked with iPhone-to-iPhone communications. Android users have wanted something similar, and now they have it: Android Messages. Google made a splash, launching it on computers everywhere late last month/early this month. Now, you can send messages to Android friends straight from the Android Messages Web client with a simple setup process. All you need is your Android phone and a PC with access to the Internet. Here’s how to set it up.
Android Messages on PC
The first step is to make sure that you have Android Messages installed on your phone. It should be on your Android device by default already, but in the event that it’s missing, you can grab it for free from the Google Play Store here. It should only take a few seconds to download and install. Next, launch the app to make sure it’s good to go and connected with your phone number and Google account.
Next, we need to get it rolling on your PC. Launch any browser you want, and then navigate to www.messages.android.com. This Web client should work on any browser, including lesser known ones like Brave and Opera.
Once you’re at the website, Android Messages will provide you with some instructions for setting it up on the Web. A QR Code will actually appear on your PC, and you’ll need to be able to scan that with your Android phone.
The first step is to open up Android Messages on your phone. Next, click on the three-dot More options menu and select “Messages for web.” Your phone should open up a QR scanner, which you then need to line up with the QR code you have on the Web. Once scanned, you should be able to start receiving and sending messages from the Web client.
As you probably can see, Android Messages works similar to Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service, which is super popular. Now, it has some serious competition with Android Messages coming into the foray. Updates and wider availability would really put WhatsApp on notice as far as competition goes.
It’s possible that you would rather open up an application or client on your computer than using Android Messages on the Web. Unfortunately, Google isn’t offering an official program right now, but you can grab an unofficial client from GitHub. It’s actually an independent developer not affiliated with Google that has made this client, so you can’t expect Google-like upgrades here. What you’re getting is essentially the Android Messages web client, but in a Windows shell. It can actually work within Mac as well.
To download the client, you can head over to the latest releases portion of this GitHub page. From here, you’ll need to choose the proper file for your computer. If you’re on any sort of Mac device, you’ll need to download and install the .dmg version. If you’re on Windows, you’ll need to download and install the .exe version. You can even use this Android Messages client if you’re on Linux — you’ll just need to select one of the following extensions for your distribution: deb, snap, pacman, or Applemage. Once downloaded, it’s as simple as unpacking the packages/installing it on your PC, Mac, or Linux install (usually as simple as double-clicking the file).
You might have to do something similar to get Android Messages to work on the PC as we did on the Web. If a QR Code appears in the PC client, just open up Android messages, click on the three-dot settings menu and select “Messages for the web.” Line it up with the QR code on your PC, and you should be ready to start sending and receiving messages from the PC client.
It’s important to realize that this PC client is pretty new. The developer reports that it works well on Windows 10 and MacOS High Sierra, but hasn’t had a chance to test on Linux. That said, if you come across any problems, be sure to report any problems or leave feedback.
As you can see, it’s quite easy to setup Android Messages with the Web or your PC, and then connect it up to your Android phone. Now, you should get iMessage-like seamless-ness across your PC and Android phone. We’re looking forward to seeing how Google improves the service and makes it more fluid and seamless.