SMS - phone, tablet & desktop all-in-one?

Tea

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,732
Location
27a No Fixed Address, Oz.
Website
www.redhill.net.au
Any recommendations for an app to let me use any of three devices [Android phone,
Androit tablet, Windows 8.1 computer] to read and send texts? There seems to be lots of them, but all with diffrrent features and (presumably) different gotchas.
 

sechs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
4,703
Location
Left Coast
I switched Android Messages for my phone, and use Messages for Web. It's not as slick and easy as Google Voice does it.

I use the Hangouts or Voice app, and conversations via the web. It looks and acts the same everywhere.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
I'm also using Google Messages.
Hangouts and Google Voice both seem to be on the end of life, we are not supporting anymore Google pile.
I resemble all of your devices, and it works great.
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
You might check out DeX, if you want a nice Samsung phone, and want to get rid of the tablet.
Use DeX and plug it into a monitor, and you pretty much don't need the tablet.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,438
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I very seldom use SMS messaging. I have a Google Voice account I have set up to receive them, which I studiously ignore for anything outside behaviors that aren't defined by my rules, which mostly have to do with getting SMS verification codes or texts from people who can't stop themselves from trying to text me, and I have a Vonage number for work-related matters.

But I turned SMS service back on at my cell carrier so I could play with how things are right now and I have to say the answer is "a lot better."
My carrier supports RCS messaging, which includes Delivery, Read and Reply-composing status, which means that it's functionally closer to an Instant Message service.

The RCS client for Android, Messages, also works on ChromeOS if you have an Android phone with an RCS client and carrier support. This seems to be true even if you have the rest of the phone mirroring features in ChromeOS turned off.

Google also supports use of the messages.google.com web page to display and reply to texts. You take a picture of a QR code in the Messages app on your phone and there it is. That's neat but probably beyond a lot of users.

I popped on my Mac and actually signed in to iMessage. If I do that, iOS and Apple people can basically chat with me, even though nothing goes to my phone. This is not SMS. It's Apple's weird thing. Also it hijacks SMS messages from Apple people. If Apple thinks you're in the blue text club, it doesn't even let Apple devices try SMS delivery until you sign out of IMessage. This is a well known issue, but in any case, this is Apple's bizarre Chat tool, but I guess it's nice if you have an iphone. I don't see the appeal.

Windows has Your Phone, which is nifty for mirroring notifications and allowing users to see photos from their phone on their desktop. I like both those features, but it seldom works for me because I move between too many computers over the course of a day. It does let Android users send and receive SMS from Windows as well. My biggest issue here is that it seems to only work on one device at a time, and the device getting the messages and notifications doesn't seem to be consistent at all. Between my laptop and the four Windows 10 desktops I might use on any given day, there was no consistency at all for which one was the "main" system. It's not based on most recent login time or longest time logged in, or which WLAN my phone might be connected to, and it won't deliver to multiple Windows devices simultaneously. This is my biggest problem with this tool, but it's probably not a problem for most people. From the texting side, it works if it's running on the right PC, but it doesn't show the RCS status notifications I can see from Google's tools.

My biggest problem with SMS in general is that I don't want my communication tied to anything that can make a phone ring. I like that iMessage and Google Hangouts/Chat tie communication to an Email address instead. A phone call for me is probably a pretty serious problem, and that's how I'd prefer to leave it. The fewer people who have my number, the happier I am.
 
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