Google’s Messages beta now shows bubble notifications on Android 11
Last year, with Android 10 developer preview 2, Google added support for Bubbles API that enables floating chat heads similar to Facebook Messenger. The API was offered to developers so they can prepare their apps to support the Bubbles feature. Although Bubbles didn’t make it to the final build of Android 10, the feature was enabled by default with the Android 11 DP1 whereas the settings for the same were added within individual app’s settings with the first Android 11 beta – even though the feature could only be enabled if it was supported by the developer. Following last month’s confirmation by Google, Bubbles are finally starting to appear on Google Messages for some users on Android 11 beta.
Support for Bubble in Messages has been a long time coming. Our Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, was able to activate the feature by tearing down and recompiling the Messages app back in December last year. Last month, the official Android Beta account on Reddit also confirmed that Bubbles would start rolling out to Android Messages in July for the users who’ve signed up for the beta of the app.
We now see that happening as the Bubbles functionality has finally started rolling out for Android Messages beta, as conveyed by user u/blackops01 on the Android Beta subreddit. Another Reddit u/fg2srt4 confirmed that the feature has started working for them as well while also noting that the floating app icon shows a dot indicator even when there’s no unread message.
As per the OP, the feature works for them with Android Messages version 6.3.052, even though their friend running the same build and app version do not get the same. I was also unable to recreate the feature despite being on the same Android build and version of the Messages app, suggesting it is a server-side switch.
We will notify you when we see a wider rollout for Bubbles in Messages or any other app.