It may not be as well-known as Gmail, Maps, or YouTube, but Messages, Google’s default app for handling SMS/MMS is an essential part of the (stock) Android experience. It’s simple, lightweight, and supports new messaging protocols like RCS (Rich Communication Services). And with the latest update, it can even protect your smartphone from spam text messages.
According to Android Police, Google has now begun rolling out the new spam protection feature to the Messages app. Since it’s a server-side update and Messages is used by billions of Android users across the world, it may take a while for the new functionality to be enabled for everyone. However, having checked it out on our smartphones, we can confirm that it’s indeed there.
With the new feature, Messages app now automatically tries to detect unwanted text messages to check if they’re spam. If it doesn’t, you can ‘train’ the feature to work better by tapping on either one of the ‘Report spam’ or ‘Report not spam’ options. Thus, the feature works similar to Truecaller’s spam detection functionality. It’s worth mentioning that with spam protection enabled, some information about your messages is sent to Google. However, this doesn’t include your phone number or the actual content of the reported text messages.
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By default, spam protection is turned on. In case it isn’t, you can enable it manually by going to Messages’ settings and navigating to Settings -> Advanced -> Spam protection -> Enable spam protection. The afore-mentioned step to send spam reports to Google is also optional. If you don’t want to do that, you can simply block a phone number without reporting it as spam.