Microsoft has rolled out a new preview feature dubbed Skype SMS Connect that lets users read and reply to SMS messages received on an Android phone via the desktop Skype app.
The feature is currently only available to users running the latest Skype Insider Preview and allows them to pair a Mac or Windows PC to an Android phone. Both the desktop and mobile apps needing to be on the Skype Insiders build. After pairing the desktop and Android device, users can send and respond to new SMS from the desktop.
SMS Connect allows users to respond to one-to-one and group SMS conversations, receive MMS photos and videos, as well as start new conversations.
To set up SMS Connect, users need to open the Skype app on an Android and enable SMS Connect through Skype settings. The feature is available on phones running Android 8.3 and higher.
Microsoft notes that SMS Connect is a “desktop only experience” and recommends using the default messaging on Android to view SMS conversations.
However, Skype developers are working on several improvements that will be available in future insider builds.
The new feature for Insiders follows Microsoft’s recent pruning of Skype to cut out features that no one used, such as its Snapchat-like Highlights, and adding features users have asked for, such as call recording.
Skype SMS Connect has some crossover with Microsoft’s new Your Phone app, currently available on Windows 10 Insider preview builds. The Your Phone app allows users to see 25 of the most recent photos from an Android phone on the PC, as well as send Android phone SMS text messages from a PC. It doesn’t support the new Rich Communication Services (RCS) or MMS.
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