Image: Jack Wallen

I’m going to be honest here–I really don’t like typing on my phone. After typing at a keyboard for over 30 years, my fingers really hate the idea of relegating that task to mostly thumbs. Typos abound and I don’t really have the time to type out everything I need or want to say.

Because of that, I’ll do anything I can to shift that job away from the mobile device in my pocket, to the one on my desk–I’m talking, of course, about my Chromebook.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to migrate tasks from one mobile device to another. One task that I frequently make use of is the SMS app, Android Messages. Once upon a time, you had to install the Android Messages app on Chromebooks to make that happen. Thanks to Messages For Web, that’s no longer the case. I use Messages For Web all the time on my desktop, via a web browser. However, on my Chromebook, I can take advantage of an actual pre-installed app for the purpose.

Truth be told, it’s really just a web app, but it works perfectly.

Let me show you how it’s done.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020: Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung Galaxy S20, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you’ll need

In order to make this work, you’ll need a Chromebook, running an updated version of Chrome OS. I’m demonstrating on my all-time favorite Chromebook, the 2015 Pixel (soon to RIP), running Chrome OS 88.0.4324.99. You’ll also need a working Android device.

How to connect your Chromebook to Messages

Log in to your Chromebook and make sure you’ve unlocked your Android device. Click the desktop menu button, or click the Search keyboard button, and type messages. You should see the Messages app appear in the results (Figure A).

Figure A

The Messages app listed in the Chrome OS search results.

As soon as the Messages app opens, you’ll be greeted with a QR code (Figure B).

Figure B

The QR code (blurred out) allows you to connect the mobile Messages to your chromebook.

Open Messages on your phone, tap the menu button in the upper-right corner (three vertical dots), and tap Messages for web. In the resulting window, tap QR code scanner (Figure C).

Figure C

The Messages for web setup window in the Android app.

Once the QR code reader app opens, align it with the QR code presented by the Messages app. As soon as the reader recognizes the code, Messages is connected and you can start using the app on your Chromebook.

It’s that easy. You can now type all of those SMS messages using a regular laptop keyboard and not the tiny device. If you’re like me, it’ll make your mobile life considerably more proficient and efficient–enjoy.

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