Google’s Messages app adds a Verified SMS feature that verifies texts from businesses
Google keeps testing new features for all of its Android apps. Before a new feature is rolled out to the app, its often tested internally by the company’s employees. While these internal tests are always inaccessible to the average user, at times we manage to enable them before public release. For instance, we recently discovered that the company was preparing to add bubble notifications and suggested stickers to Google Messages. Similarly, we’d previously unearthed a new Verified SMS feature in the app that was designed to check if the businesses messaging you had been verified or not. Now, Google has started rolling out a beta update for Google Messages that enables the Verified SMS feature for end users.
As reported by Android Police, the Verified SMS feature is now live in Google Messages beta v5.3.075. The feature is enabled by default and it only works when you receive an SMS from a verified business. The feature aims to prevent fake business accounts from spoofing users and makes use of authenticity codes to verify each SMS you receive. The verification method makes use of a unique hash created based on your phone number, the business, and the message’s content. Each unique hash is created right on your device and then sent to Google. The company then compares it against the one it received in parallel from the verified business.
In case the hashes match, the app will display information about the business, including its logo with a “verified” icon. However, if the codes don’t match, Messages will show a “Message could not be verified” prompt. In the event that you have a poor data connection, the app might bring up a “Verifying sender…” prompt until the process is done. And finally, if you don’t have a data connection, Messages will display a prompt saying “Waiting for connection to verify sender.” As of now, the Verified SMS feature only appears to be available in the US. In case you wish to try it out for yourself, you can download the latest Google Messages beta update from APK Mirror by clicking on the link below.
Via: Android Police