Google tests Verified SMS and SMS Reminders in Messages
Google is always A/B testing new features in its apps. Before releasing any feature to the stable or beta channel (if one exists), Googlers “dogfood” the feature internally. If the feature is implemented but made inaccessible in a release build, sometimes we’re able to enable the feature ahead of public release. Today, we managed to enable a few new features in the Messages app with help from XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899. The new features that Google is testing are Verified SMS and SMS Reminders.
Verified SMS will check if a business that’s messaging you has been verified. Google says they won’t “see your message content,” implying that at least the number is sent to them for analysis. Other than that, there isn’t much information about how this feature works. While looking for information in the settings, a support page confirms that it’s a company-wide test. Given that the feature is described as providing “safer chats with businesses that send Verified SMS,” I’m guessing it’ll work like social media verification in that a phone number that has been verified by Google to legitimately belong to a business will have the business name and a checkmark displayed in the message thread. This will help reduce scams and phishing by informing the user whether a message they received was legitimately sent by a company.
The other feature we enabled was SMS Reminders. This adds a new button in the notification that, when tapped, tells Messages to remind you to respond to the message in an hour. Although Android 8.0 Oreo and above have built-in notification snoozing, this feature seems to be platform agnostic. Unlike the built-in notification snoozing, there’s no way to change the amount of time to delay the reminder. This feature seems useless if you know about notification snoozing, but it may be helpful for users who aren’t aware of the feature or who are still running an older Android version.
We don’t know if or when these features will roll out; all we know is that Google is currently testing them. We’ll inform you when the features have been announced by Google.