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Android Communications Network The Almighty Buck The Internet

Android Messages May Soon Let You Text From the Web ( 48

Android Police dug into the code for the latest version of Android Messages and found two very intriguing features: Rich Communication Services (RCS) support and support for all the popular web browsers. From the report: Google is developing a web interface to run on a desktop or laptop, and it will pair with your phone for sending messages. Internally, the codename for this feature is "Ditto," but it looks like it will be labeled "Messages for web" when it launches. You'll be guided to visit a website on the computer you want to pair with your phone, then simply scan a QR code. Once that's done, you'll be able to send and receive messages in the web interface and it will link with the phone to do the actual communication through your carrier. I can't say with any certainty that all mainstream browsers will be supported right away, but all of them are named, so most users should be covered.

Another major move appears to be happening with RCS, and it looks like Google may be tired of letting it progress slowly. A lot of new promotional text has been added to encourage people to "text over Wi-Fi" and suggesting that they "upgrade" immediately. There's a lot of text in that block, but most of it is purely promotional. It describes features that are already largely familiar as capabilities of RCS, including texting through a data connection, seeing messaging status (if somebody is typing) and read receipts, and sending photos. Google does put a lot of emphasis that if it's handling the photos, that they are high-quality.
Android Police also notes the ability to make purchases via Messages.

Android Messages May Soon Let You Text From the Web

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  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday February 09, 2018 @08:41PM (#56098523) Homepage

    New messenger app, same old premise. They just took this feature away from Hangouts 8 months ago. RCS makes it different, but not different enough to be significant.

    • by ZosX ( 517789 )

      I find hangouts TERRIBLE. Its terrible on android and has awful call quality. I'm about to go back to the OG google voice app, but then all my old messages are still stuck in hangouts. ARGH. The gmail interface is super bad. I can't stand it. You have to install the chrome app if you want to text people over the web otherwise you can only respond to existing texts.

  • these the kinds of features that keep my kid locked to an iPhone.
  • When I'm on a vacation internationally, I swap my home country's SIM card with one from abroad. This avoids expensive international roaming, while allowing me to make calls locally plus a 4G data connection. And no I don't have a dual SIM model...

    Does the phone need to be connected to a local number at the time or can Google spoof a number on my behalf using a gateway connected back to my home telco? (Even when my phone is physically thousands of KM away)

    Say I'll be gone for a month or 3. I land in Tabarnia

    • That's supposed to be part of RCS. So...maybe. It probably depends on your carrier more than anything. I don't know how many carriers have even rolled out RCS yet. If they haven't you'll have SMS and this probably won't be possible.

    • You don't need extra SiMs anymore, a singe SIM is enough. Roaming fees got abolished mid last year.

      • You don't need extra SiMs anymore, a singe SIM is enough. Roaming fees got abolished mid last year.

        Roaming fees are abolished inside the EU. I assume that either the OP's origin or destination (or both) is outside the EU.

      • In the EU... and as a consequence I now need a more expensive plan or I get the national-only gimped plan that can’t do roaming. Formely I had unlimited inland, and pay-as-you-go roaming for 15€. To keep roaming, I now need the 27€ plan for about the same conditions. Free my arse. Do you have any idea how much pay-as-you-go 12€ gives you? No? Well, last spring I went to Madeira and I used my phone as always. So did my wife: 5€ more that month for both lines!

        Free EU roaming is

        • I have a slighly more expensive plan, too.
          But not because of roaming but because of free unlimited calls and a higher datalimit.

          As I'm very often outside of germany, I enjoy the internet now, before I had data roaming deactivated and usually did not accept calls from home.

          Under the old laws, normal use of phone or data had trippeled my phone bill if I had used roaming more than a few times.

          I have no clue about tarrif structures however ... I bottom line pay EU50 more per year and have for that free roaming

          • I remain of the opinion that the normal people are now subsidizing the lifestyle of a few. Thank the EU that you are in luck. For most people it either became more expensive or they lost the roaming capability alltoghether. A net loss for most consumers.
            • by tsa ( 15680 )

              I still pay the same price for my connection. But I did see that the price of new subscriptions has indeed risen a bit in the Netherlands. I don't know how much roaming costs the providers but I guess that by raising the prices of the new connections just a bit 'because of the new roaming law' they earn millions.

              • What pisses me off most is that now many plans are national only. Formerly, at least you could use roaming when you needed to. Now, if tou have such a plan: you can’t, no choice. The EU should not have allowed that, but they did... causing exacly the inverse of what they wanted. People on vacation won’t be able to call at all on such plans.
                • by tsa ( 15680 )

                  You can still use roaming, only you pay extra for it since the costs are not subtracted from the bundle.

                  • I’d love to have such a plan! I asked my cellphone provider. They say it’s illegal under de new EU provisions. All other cellphone providers agree on that in my country. Care to tell which provider in the EU provides this? Any EU country will do. Preferably a link to their website.

                    The problem lies in the wording of the law: it’s “roam like home”, so if you has had 1000 units and 1GB package, for inland, then due to the law it would become 1000 units, 1GB in the EU. You c

                    • by tsa ( 15680 )

                      That is strange. Here is a page from KPN in the Netherlands with the tariffs: []. I looked up Russia. Roaming there costs about 80 euros/GB if you buy a separate bundle. If you don't have a bundle you can still roam but indeed for 250 euros/GB, as you say.

                      If this is not what you mean then I don't understand what you mean :).

                    • Not what I mean. It says EU is free. Roam as home. What I mean is that for me, and many people the pre-regulation situation was better: cheap home plan, pay as you go roaming in the EU. Compare my current plan: Tango Smart M [] at 27EUR, which is a plan that allows roaming. I used to have Tango Smart LU M [] at 15EUR. That plan cannot be used outside Luxembourg, which makes it useful for schoolkids or so. As you can see both plans are comparable volume-wise. Thing is: before the EU regulation, that plan
            • Many people don't need roaming.

              And sorry: if your country followed the EU so badly that you have now phone contracts without roaming then I would try to change that.

              it either became more expensive
              Sorry, it can't be more expensive. You seem not to listen. A single month in a foreign EU country with normal phone and data behaviour would have cost you half a year of your contract, or more. A single day can be as expensive as a month at home.

              Example: my old contract was EUR15 per month. Calling someone, regardl

              • I listen and you're still wrong. I gave my example of my Madeira vacation: 5€ on both lines combined for a week. Very reasonable. Anyone going on vacation needs roaming. The EU robbed me of the possibility of paying less and be careful abroad but still being able to call! They totally removed personal responsibility from the equation. I'd rather pay less overal and take care... but nooooo!

                Great that it works for you, but basically I pay for your carelessness!

  • Google Voice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Friday February 09, 2018 @10:26PM (#56098857) Homepage

    So, what does this do that Google Voice didn't already do like 8 years ago? Other than work with the phone's main number, instead of the GVoice number that is. Otherwise, this is ass-old tech that should have been around ages ago!

  • Every smartphone I've owned has had an email address whereby I could email something to that address and the body shows up as a message in my phone. Handy for sending both web and street addresses. Outside of the current Game of the Month (GoM)(tm) it's probably the feature I use most on my droid.
  • by jbernardo ( 1014507 ) on Saturday February 10, 2018 @02:49AM (#56099367)
    MySMS has been doing this for ages, and quite well. I guess this will be a blow on their subscription business model, even if they still have some extra features.
  • And call me whenever this is implemented. Otherwise, it is just hype.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!