Google Chrome’s messaging integration with Android may be closer than we think.
A Reddit user discovered a shortcut in Nova launcher today that points to the upcoming feature and hints it will be called ‘Better Together.’
User Skychronicles found the ‘Better Together’ feature inside the activity shortcuts in Nova.
Activity shortcuts are specific actions that users can add to their home screen in Nova. For example, you can add an activity shortcut that will take you directly into the settings of you Messaging app.
One of these shortcuts was labeled ‘Better Together.’ Expanding that option gives two further options: ‘Chromebook’ and ‘Open source licenses.’
‘Open source licenses’ opens a screen with a list of — you guessed it — licenses. However, things really get exciting when you open ‘Chromebook.’
The hidden Better Together setup page
‘Chromebook’ leads into a page to set up Better Together. According to the setup page, Better Together will allow users to “read and reply to text messages on your Chromebook.” It also says that your wireless carrier’s standard messaging rates may apply. Furthermore, it asks you to allow access to your phone calls, messages and contacts to setup ‘SMS Connect.’
Tapping ‘Next’ causes a window to pop up asking for your permission. However, granting permission doesn’t work and the setup page ask you to do it again. Tapping ‘Try again’ bounces you to the app information page. From this page, users can check the permissions but only one is available. The ‘Phone’ permission is present and enabled.
Nevertheless the app doesn’t recognize the permission is granted. The feature is likely still being worked on and it isn’t clear when it will be ready.
It also appears to be part of Android P. I was able to find the activity shortcut using my Pixel XL 2 running Developer Preview 3. However other devices we tested running Android 8.0 didn’t have the shortcut in Nova.