Google Messages has a bunch of new features rolling out to everyone
Google Messages is the default SMS texting application on most Android devices, with the added benefit of supporting Google’s RCS network, providing additional features like typing indicators and larger file attachments in conversations where other participants are using Messages. Today the company is officially announcing several new features coming to Messages, though many of them were already available to select markets.
The company’s blog post on Thursday started with yet another dig at Apple, saying, “when people with Android phones and iPhones message each other, not everything works the way it should. That’s because these conversations rely on SMS, an outdated messaging standard, instead of RCS, a modern, more secure industry standard Android uses that enables high-quality videos, emoji reactions, end-to-end encryption and more.”
Many of the new features are built with iPhone interoperability in mind. Reactions sent from iPhone (e.g. the “liked…” auto-responses) will now be displayed as proper reaction emojis, which started rolling out back in February. Messages can also now send videos as Google Photos links, so they won’t be compressed over SMS, and the same option for sending photos will be available soon. This was being tested as early as November of last year, but again, now it’s supposedly rolling out to everyone.
Google is also rolling out a few changes to help with organization and sorting. Messages will now try to automatically sort your messages into ‘Personal’ and ‘Business’ tabs, similar to Gmail’s auto-sorting, but all your messages will still be accessible in one place from the ‘All’ tab. The app will also display reminders to reply to important conversations, which has been a feature in Messages for a while now, but now has a few extra abilities (such as reminders about a contact’s birthday).
These improvements are all rolling out “over the coming weeks,” but as previously mentioned, at least some of them were available to many people already.