Google has released a massive update for Google Messages — the messaging app that sits in Android smartphones as a part of Google’s suite of apps alongside messaging apps by individual original equipment makers (OEMs). The update includes a redesign app icon and a host of new features. Also Read - WhatsApp now lets you search for businesses and shop from them: How to use it
The older Google Messages icon included a message bubble in while that was housed inside a blue circle. The redesigned app icon retains the colour scheme while changing the design. The redesigned app icon includes overlapping messaging bubbles coming together as one and it is a part of the company’s Material You theme. Also Read - India to soon adopt USB Type-C for charging smartphones, laptops, tablets and more
“Our Phone and Contacts apps will also be updated with the same look and feel to signal their shared purpose: helping you communicate,” Google wrote in the blog post. Also Read - Netflix lets you cut off access to signed in devices remotely: How to use it
New features coming to Google Messages
Google is bringing a total of 10 new features to Messages. Here is the list:
— Google is bringing the ability to respond to individual messages in Google Messages. This is quite similar to how we respond to messages on WhatsApp or Instagram. This feature requires users to enable RCS on their smartphones — a feature that Google and Apple don’t see eye-to-eye on.
— Earlier this year, Google started displaying emoji reactions from Apple’s iMessage app on Android smartphones. Now, is letting users to react to SMS texts from iPhone users with emoji. “While RCS is the ultimate solution, we’re doing what we can to help Android users have a way to consistently react to messages,” Google wrote in a blog post.
— With Pixel 7 series, Google announced a feature that would enable users to see a transcription of a voice message in Google Message app. Today, the company announced that this feature will soon be available on Pixel 6, Pixel 6A, Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy Fold4 smartphones.
— Google is making reminders smarter. The company said users will get a reminder about birthdays and anniversaries on opening Google Messages app if users save these details in their phone’s contacts app.
— Additionally, the company said that now, Google Messages users will be able to watch YouTube videos within the Messages app without ever leaving the app.
— Messages will now intelligently suggest users “star” messages that contain texts like addresses, door codes and phone numbers to help them easily keep track and quickly find important conversations.
— Google also said that its Messages app will now recognise texts like “Can you talk now?” and suggest a Meet call by showing an icon right next to the message. It will also suggest adding calendar events for messages like “Let’s meet at 6pm on Tuesday”, to help users stay on top of important events.
— The company also said that it has started testing a new feature in select countries that will enable users chat with businesses that users find on Google Search and Google Maps directly through Messages.
— Google Messages no supports a host of devices from Android smartphones to Chromebook to smartwatch.
— Lastly, Google said that it has partnered with United Airlines to offer messaging on United flights when users have turned on RCS on their devices. “It will be available on United WiFi for most carriers starting this fall, with broader support coming soon,” the company added.