This piece of news, perhaps trivial, indicates something deeper going on with Google and its Android brand. A new commit spotted in Chromium’s Gerrit source code management reveals that Google intends to transition its web portal for sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages.
If you use the Android Messages app (which was eventually renamed to just “Messages”), you can access a web interface to chat with people from your phone using your desktop. To do this, all you have to do is head to Messages.Android.com. However, the new commit suggests that Google will be transitioning users to a new address: Messages.Google.com
In simple terms, what this commit does is tell Chromebooks to stop using the Android.com URL and use the Google.com URL in versions 72 or 73 of Chrome OS which include the “Better Together” features for integrating Android and Chrome OS.
This change deepens the idea that Google will eventually phase out the use of “Android” branding. Ever since it launched, there have always been people who didn’t know that Android is pretty much synonymous with Google. The proof is in the pudding: Android Pay was renamed to Google Pay, Android Messages to just Messages and Android Wear to just Wear OS. So what is stopping Google from just removing the “Android” altogether?
We could speculate that Google plans to totally rebrand android as something along the lines of “Google OS” for its 10.0 version of Android “Q”. Perhaps the earliest we could hear about this is at Google I/O where a future version of Android is usually announced.
In its current state, the Messages.Google.com URL doesn’t lead anywhere, but this might change in the coming weeks.