Google today announced a major update to its stock messaging app. The Messages app, which comes preinstalled on most Android phones, will get a lot of new features with the update. First of all, this will solve a long-standing problem where iMessage “backlinks” were delivered not as emoji replies, but as a separate message. This is annoying, making chats between Android and iPhone users confusing, cluttered, and very noisy.
Other upcoming updates include prompts to remind you to reply to missed messages, separate tabs for business and personal messages, reminders for birthdays you want to celebrate, faster integration with Google Photos via video support, and an extensive set of emoji mashups. , among others.
After the update, comments from iPhone users will be sent as emoji in text messages on Android. As with iMessage, emoji reactions—like love, laughter, confusion, or excitement—appear on the right side of the message. (On Android, it’s in the lower right corner.) This feature applies to Android devices that are set to English first, but other languages will be added later.
These rich replies were already available to beta users of the Messages app, but Google hasn’t said when they will go public. Testers noted that Android’s interpretation of which emojis to use is slightly different than the iPhone’s. For example, on Android, the “heart” reaction becomes a “face with heart eyes” emoji. And the iMessage reaction with an exclamation point becomes an “open mouth face” emoji.
Google is also integrating Google Photos into the Messages app to improve video sharing. While the current RCS standard allows people with Android devices to share high-quality videos with each other, the same videos look blurry when shared on an iPhone because iMessage doesn’t support RCS. By submitting a video link via Google Photos, iPhone users will be able to watch the video in the same high resolution. Later, this feature will also include photo support.
This addition is intended to encourage Apple to embrace the industry standard by shaming the company for its video quality.
Google has been very vocal about Apple’s decision not to support RCS until now – mainly because the adoption of RCS will allow Google to compete better with Apple’s iMessage. But Google isn’t wrong when it points out that Apple isn’t serving its customers well by reverting iMessage to the old SMS standard, which is less secure. (claims to be an odd choice for a privacy-focused company like Apple.)
Lack of support also leads to all sorts of inconsistencies in messaging. For example, iMessage users can detect typos, access read receipts, and view high-resolution media if they send a text message to another iPhone user. These features would work when communicating with Android users if iMessage supported RCS, but Apple chose not to, causing trouble for its own customers.
Apple benefits in part by making texting the “worst” experience because it could help shut down the ecosystem. But critics argue that such decisions have caused iMessage to fail as the global messaging champion; Instead, users around the world have turned to third-party messaging apps like WeChat, Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp as Apple chose not to compete with Android or even basic modern messaging features.
Meanwhile, the Google Messages update raises the bar when it comes to how a basic messaging app can work, at least in terms of consumer experience – though in Google’s case, it’s trying to do more to protect user privacy. However, that’s all. nice to see continuous improvement but Application, not deployment – as has been the case with the company’s scattered messaging strategy over the years.
In addition to the aforementioned solutions that address issues related to continued use of Apple SMS, Messages will now automatically sort messages in the Personal and Business tabs of the app, making it easier to find the messages you need. Can get it. And to reduce clutter, you can set OTP messages to automatically disappear after 24 hours. This feature was already available in India and will now be available in the US.
The app will also help you manage your relationship better if you forget to reply to a text or remind yourself that it’s your friend’s birthday. (This will only be known if you have saved your birthday details in your Contacts app.) Reminders will be introduced for English speaking users around the world.
YouTube links sent via messages now contain a preview of the video in the conversation.
Finally, Google has updated the Emoji Kitchen feature in its Gboard keyboard that allows you to combine two different emoji to create your own. Now that choice has been expanded with over 2,000 new mashups available as stickers. The on-device Gboard grammar correction feature will also be coming to all Android devices after it first launched on Pixel devices.
The new features in the Messages app are one of the highlights of several other Google product updates released today, including Android widgets, Google TV, Google Photos, Close Sharing, Android Auto, accessibility, and more.