Alternatives to Republic Anywhere (Text Messaging on Multiple Devices)

Republic Anywhere was RW’s integrated solution for exchanging text messages on devices other than one’s cell phone. Though it had its flaws, it was the finest implementation of multi-device text messaging this side of Apple’s iMessage (which, of course, is limited to Apple devices).

In any case, if one is using an Android phone, there are alternatives. While these alternatives are not as integrated as Republic Anywhere, they do have the virtue of working with any cellular service provider.

Messages by Google

Messages by Google offers a similar experience to Republic Anywhere. It works on all Android phones. It’s the bundled text messaging app on Google Pixels and Motorola phones. It may be installed on other Androids from Google’s Play Store app. Messages on the phone are mirrored to other devices via Messages for web. Being web based, other devices may be some combination of Macs, PCs Android tablets, iOS devices (iPad, iPod touch) or other device capable of running a web browser.

If one prefers a more app-like experience, it’s possible to use Messages for web as a standalone web app rather than using a web browser window.

Mac and PC

Fellow members have created standalone Messages by Google web apps for Mac and PC. These apps are unofficial and not affiliated with Google in any way. They were built using Nativefier. Linked downloads are shared from contributing members’ personal Google Drives. When downloading Google Drive will complain the files are too large to scan for viruses. Please be assured there is no need for concern.

iPad and iPod touch

An app-like experience for Messages by Google on iPad and iPod touch may be created as follows:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Navigate to
  3. Tap “Go.”
  4. Tap the Share icon on the bottom of the page. It looks like a square with an arrow pointing out of the top.
  5. In the list of options presented, scroll down until you see Add to Home Screen. Tap this. The Add to Home Screen dialog box will appear.
  6. Choose a name (I suggest Messages by Google or Google Messages) for the shortcut on your home screen. You’ll see the link so you can confirm it, as well as the site’s favicon that will appear as the “app” icon on your home screen. Tap Add when you’re done. Safari will close automatically and you will be taken to where the icon is located on your iPad’s or iPod touch’s home screen.
  7. Now just tap the new “app” or shortcut on your home screen, and it will open the website in its own navigation window, independent of any tabs you might have open in Safari.

The one downside to using Google’s Messages for web on an iPad or iPad touch is you will not receive a notification when a new message is received. This is a limitation imposed on web “apps” by Apple.

Microsoft Phone Companion

If you use an Android phone and have a PC running Windows 10 0r 11 then Microsoft’s Phone Companion is worth checking out. To get started you need both the Android Your Phone Companion app, and the Windows 10/11 Your Phone app.

  • The Android app can be found here.
  • The Windows app can be found here.

Once you have both of these setup and you are connected, the Windows Your Phone Companion has a long list of features and a good looking user interface.

Features include:

Full Notification Support

You can view and manage your phone’s notifications. This supports features like quick reply, and you can open the notifying app directly on your Windows PC.

View and Send SMS/MMS Messages from Your Windows PC

You can view messages from your phone on your PC. You can also download the images from MMS messages and send images.

View Device Photos

You can view, and manage your device photos. This includes saving them to your PC directly, sharing them and deleting them from your phone.

View and Interact with Phone Screen or Apps

You can launch and use apps on your phone directly from your PC. You can also see the notification count for each app here.

View Call History, Make and Receive Phone Calls

You can view your call history, as well as make and receive phone calls. This feature requires a Bluetooth connection in addition to the regular WiFi connection. Your phone treats your PC as a wireless headset.

Apple Messages (and FaceTime)

If you’ve made the move to iPhone on Republic, Apple’s Messages app is your Anywhere replacement. Messages works across Apple devices for iMessage, SMS (plain text messaging) and MMS (picture and group messaging). Unlike Android, it is not possible to set an alternative text messaging app as the default in place of Apple’s Messages app.

iMessage works across one’s Apple devices, so long as those devices are signed into the same Apple ID. Syncing SMS and MMS to other Apple devices requires some configuration on iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll to, then tap Messages.
  3. Tap Text Message Forwarding.
  4. Toggle on the devices to which you wish to sync your iPhone’s text messages.

Though Anywhere calling never made it out of beta, FaceTime does more than video chatting. FaceTime may also be used to make and receive audio calls to and from regular phone numbers. Once again, there is some iPhone configuration required:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Phone.
  3. Toggle on Allow Calls on Other Devices.
  4. Toggle on the devices on which you wish to make/receive calls.

Pulse SMS

Candidly, this section is, for the time being a placeholder. When I last experimented with PulseSMS, it did indeed work on Republic phones but required one to disable the Republic’s app’s nag about using an unsupported messaging app. To do so:

  1. Open the Republic app.
  2. Tap the gear icon to the upper right.
  3. Tap Advanced Settings.
  4. Uncheck the box for Show incompatible messenger

Please note turning off the Republic’s app’s nagging about using an incompatible text messaging app does not magically make every Android text messaging app compatible. In previous experimentation with PulseSMS, however, I found it to work. Further, on Republic 5.0, since the Republic app is no longer required, PulseSMS (and most any other Android text messaging app) should just work.

Since I last experimented with PulseSMS, it has changed owners. To the best of my knowledge, use of PulseSMS on one’s phone remains free. Use of associated PulseSMS clients for other devices seems to require in app purchase(s).

Now, that this article is published, I intend to experiment once again with PulseSMS. If others decide to do so without waiting for me, I would appreciate their reporting their experience by replying to the topic.