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Verizon takes on SMS challengers with cross-platform Messages service

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verizon messages official 640
verizon messages official 640

As non-traditional messaging services like Google Voice, iMessage, and WhatsApp continue to displace lucrative SMS services, carriers are looking for ways to hold on to what they have. Today, Verizon is announcing an update that brings its Verizon Messages (formerly VZ Messages) SMS service cross-platform, letting you send and receive SMS messages from your computer’s browser as well as your iPad or Android device — phone or tablet. Messages that you send are stored on Verizon’s cloud service for 90 days unless you delete them, and can be saved permanently on an SD card if you want to keep them around longer.

Can be set to send an automated reply when you're busy

Verizon Messages can also be set to send an automated reply when you’re busy. And unlike iMessage, all of your communications are tied to a single point — your phone number — which will help prevent that service's occasional finickiness and unpredictability. You can also customize your messaging experience by selecting your own background and bubble colors, if you’re so inclined.

While AT&T launched a similar service in January for business called Unified Communications Services, Verizon is choosing to continue going after consumers with this release. Take a look below to see how Verizon imagines you’ll use its service.