Android 8.1 has a bunch of new little features, but one of the more interesting to show up is actually something we’ve heard about before — the ability to enable SMS sync on your Chromebook. Now, that feature has been uncovered in the 8.1 developer preview.
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First spotted by Ars Technica, “SMS Connect” is a service hidden within this version of Android which, once opened, advertises the ability to read and reply to text messages on your Chromebook. As mentioned, we first heard about this a few weeks ago, and the functionality looks pretty straightforward.
Once set up on your phone, a Chromebook will be able to interact with SMS on your device and both read and reply to messages from the carrier number on your phone. Presumably, this will add an app to the Chromebook, but nothing is live just yet. One flag on Chrome OS does have the “SMS Connect” terminology pop up in the settings on a Chromebook, but toggling it on doesn’t do anything yet.
ArsTechnica notes that the way this feature is implemented makes it seem like something that will be an option during device set up, but it also may be a Pixel-exclusive feature.