Sending and receiving texts through Chromebooks might be possible with Android 8.1

Pixelbook in entertainment mode

A new functionality has been spotted in the developer preview of Android 8.1.

The feature, found by 9to5Google and ArsTechnica is called SMS Connect, which allows users to send and receive text messages from their Chromebook using a smartphone’s carrier number.

It appears the set up would be done via phone and an app on the Chromebook, but nothing is available as of right now. Within the Chrome operating system SMS Connect terminology does appear but, according to ArsTechnica, toggling the option doesn’t do anything.

Users will be alerted to new text messages through the notifications on the Chromebook.

It’s unknown which devices will work with SMS Connect however ArsTechnica suggests that this will be a Pixel-exclusive feature as the beta’s version code references “PixelExperience.”

Android 8.1 also adds picture-in-picture for the Netflix app and the ability to disable ‘App is running in the background’ notifications.

Source: ArsTechnica, 9to5Google