Need to access iMessage on your Chromebook? Now you can! Chromebooks have a cool new feature that allows you to send and receive text messages right on the device so you can connect with iPhone users. The iMessage application is a text service exclusive to Apple products that’s been extended to Chromebooks. Modified features allows you to not only send/receive text. But videos, attachments and even location. The caveat, however, is that using the iMessage application on other devices can be involved. But we’ve uncovered what we believe to be 4 of the best methods for setting up your Chromebook with iMessage. And we’re happy to share them with in what follows.
- A Chromebook that supports Android apps
- A MacBook, or
- An iPhone
There’s more than one way to create a link between your Chromebook and iMessage. Below, we’ll also discuss some of the programs you’ll need and how to set them up.
We won’t lie to you, using this app requires a lengthy process. But don’t be discouraged. Once done, you’ll be able to access iMessage with ease!
As mentioned, you’ll need two computers.
First, you need your contacts synced on your MacBook and your messages activated. Then, go to the BlueBubbles website. You’ll need to configure the program first.
In the installation section, click ‘Download’ and choose the ‘Server’ option.
Once downloaded, open the DMG files and drag the BlueBubbles app into the applications folder. Next, click ‘command+space’ and type ‘Blue Bubbles’ for the setup screen for the program to open up.
Before proceeding, go to system settings, and click ‘Security and Privacy.’ Scroll down to ‘Full disk access’ and make sure that the Blue Bubbles app is checked. If not checked, click on the lock icon. Enter your password, then check the lock icon.
Going back to the setup screen, start by making up a password for the server. Then, click on the ‘SMS Support’ option for the desktop client.
Go back to the search engine and type “consoles.firebase.google.com.” Log in using your Google account. Create a new project, type a name and make sure the Google Analytics for this project is off. Then click ‘Continue.’
This allows you to create a real-time database where your messages are going to be synced.
Click on ‘Create a database,’ pick your location, click next, ‘Start in locked mode,’ then ‘Enable.’
Now that the real-time database is created, go into the project settings and choose ‘Service account.’ Next, click ‘generate new private key for this project’ and locally save the project key.
Go back to the bluebubbles.json file. You’ll find an ‘FCM server’ option; drag the file you just saved locally into that box.
Next, you need to create the Google services.json file. Go back to Firebase and click on ‘Project settings.’ In the general tab, you’ll find an android icon. Click on it.
You’ll be asked to generate a company name. For example, you can write something like “yourname.bluebubbles.” Then click ‘Register app’ and download this file again locally.
Go back to the Blue Bubbles setup window and drag the file you just saved into the Google services.json spot. Click continue. Now your server is all set up.
A QR code will appear that you can scan it if you’re using a mobile device. For other devices, you can type in the server address with the port displayed on the screen (you’ll need this info in a bit).
Now the first phase of setup is done, the rest of the configuration process is done on the client computer, which is the Chromebook you want to use iMessage on.
Open up the Google Play Store on your Chromebook. Search for ‘Blue Bubbles,’ then install and launch it. You’ll have the option to scan the QR code displayed on the server computer (the Mac computer) or type in the server address manually.
Type in the previously set password. Then click ‘OK’ to get connected. You’re now connected to that site you created.
How does this work? Your server device will communicate to that site in real-time. At the same time, the client device will also communicate with the server you created.
Next, you’ll need to set the number of messages you want downloaded. You can either choose a number or leave it to the default option, which is 25 messages.
The process of configuring your messages might also take some time to setup. But once it’s done, you’ll be all set to send and receive iMessages from your Chromebook.
You might want to set up your contacts on your Chromebook as well so that the messages displayed will have the name of the sender rather than just their number.
Now that you’re done, what’s the catch? You might ask. You’ll need to have your MacBook running in the background with the Blue Bubbles program running any time you want to view iMessage on your Chromebook. For this purpose, we suggest keeping a MacBook handy that you’re not immediately using (it doesn’t necessarily have to be the latest version).
This method allows the user to access and control another computer (in this case the MacBook) through a Chrome browser or a Chromebook.
It differs from the BlueBubbles app in that it doesn’t rely on complicated software, so there are fewer steps here.
Download and install the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Chrome Web Store on both devices. Turn on the app by clicking on the green ‘Launch app’ button.
Set up the Chrome Remote Desktop App. Then, create a connection between both devices by entering the code of the Mac computer’s host into the Chrome Remote Desktop App on your Chromebook.
Once the connection has been established, you’ll be able to use the Chromebook as a remote control to access iMessages.
Again, get your two devices ready.
Let’s start with the Apple device first.
On your Mac device, download and install the Pushbullet app.
You’ll be required to log in, using either your Google or Facebook account. Then an authentication page will pop up, which will require an ID and password to log in. Agree to the terms and conditions, then allow the app to operate on your device.
Moving onto your Chromebook…
Download the Pushbullet app from the Chrome Store.
In the Chrome app store, click the ‘Add to Chrome’ option to have the new extension created and installed.
Sign into the app and choose whether you want to log in using your Google or Facebook account.
Now a connection has been established via this third-party tool.
On your Chromebook, click the ‘Pushbullet’ icon at the top right corner. Then choose the SMS option. A new pop-up window shows the ‘To’ and ‘From’ fields. You’ll find your details in the ‘From’ field.
Type your message and there you have it! You can send all you want, and no one will guess you’re sending it from a Chromebook.
Another third-party tool available to help you link your existing iMessages to your Chromebook is Leawo iOS data recovery software (you’ll need your iPhone and Chromebook for this).
Start by installing and setting up the software on your iPhone. After launching the Leawo iOS data recovery software, open the main interface and click ‘Recover from iOS Device.’ Then connect your Apple phone to the computer using a supported USB cable.
After your iPhone gets recognized by the software, you need to get the software to analyze it.
Click on the ‘Start’ button to get this process started. Once the analyzing process is done, the software will scan the contents of your iPhone.
The software window will then display a list on the left sidebar with different categories. Choose the ‘Messages’ option, and its contents will be displayed on the right side of the window.
Select the messages to be recovered and click on the ‘Recover’ option found on the right corner of the window.
This will open a different settings window. Click the ‘Open’ option to choose where you want this data to be extracted on your device. Then click ‘Go’ to begin the extraction process of your messages to your Chromebook.
Now that your messages have been extracted, you can access and read them on your Chromebook. Since messages sends SMS messages on a connection from your Chromebook to your iPhone, carrier fees will apply.
Also, if you use your Chromebook at work or school. You may not be able to send and receive SMS messages.
The major benefit you’re getting by connecting iMessage on your Chromebook is convenience. Similar applications include WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, FacebookMessenger and Telegram. Now that you can access iMessage on your Chromebook, you have the ease of staying connected to family and friends without having to switch back and forth from your laptop to your phone. Not only that, but you’ll also enjoy all the features and updates Apple brings to the iMessage app. Setup is a bit involved. But it makes operating iMessage from your Chromebook super handy. So, give it a try.