Here is a little tip most people don’t know about Chromebooks – Did you know Chrome OS has (limited) support for text messaging?
This has actually been around since the CR-48, but more recently we were reminded of the feature by Reddit user SethLevy. The user discovered his T-Mobile HP Chromebook 14 actually receives messages he sent to the phone number that shows under his T-Mobile account info.
This should work with any data-enabled Chromebook, so go ahead and give it a try. You just need to find out what phone number the SIM card is registered with. Now let’s look at the downsides.
Why “kind of”?
Sadly, Chrome OS doesn’t have full SMS support. He soon realized he was not able to reply to the text message. In addition, there is no way to access the SMS messages after the notification disappears. You pretty much only get SMS notifications.
Chrome OS texting alternatives
While we don’t have full SMS support on Chrome OS, there are definitely ways to make it work. You can use Google Voice, for example. They give you a phone number and you can use both Hangouts and the Google Voice extension to send text messages. Not to mention, Google Voice syncs across your mobile devices and computers via the official apps.
There is also a sea of other free text messaging services you can find online, both paid and free. I happen to be with Verizon, so I just use Verizon Messages. They have a mobile app and a website. When I want to use SMS on my Chromebook, I just sign into Verizon messages and type away. Here is a video of how Verizon Messages works.
Will we ever get full SMS support for Chrome OS?
The fact that a little support is available means that we will probably see full support at some point. Maybe Google is working on it? Hangouts now does SMS on Android, so why not do the same for Chrome OS? Google could have Hangouts do all the SMS work, just like with Android.
Who knows, maybe a developer could put something together and make a texting extension that takes full advantage of the Chrome OS texting capabilities. We will simply have to wait and see what happens, but please do let us know if you have a good way to send SMS messages on a Chromebook!