Tag Archives: Messages

10 new reasons to love Messages by Google

We use messaging apps to feel connected, without the headache of needing to know what phone or network we’re on. That is why our focus with Messages by Google is to help you build connections. It’s also built around RCS, a modern messaging protocol that supports richer text features, higher resolution images and videos, and enables end-to-end encryption. With RCS, we can give everyone a secure and modern messaging experience. We continue to advocate for RCS across the industry so key players #GetTheMessage and make the experience better for everyone.

As RCS adoption accelerates, we’re doing what’s possible to improve messaging between Android and iOS, like adding support for reactions. This builds on a suite of features that you already love, like an organized inbox that separates personal and business messages, the ability to share sharper videos and scheduled messages. And we’re doing even more.

Here are 10 ways Messages is evolving with safer, smarter and more modern features.

1. Ever been in a chat where the conversation with friends is flowing and you’re catching up with tons of messages? Soon you’ll be able to respond to an individual message in a conversation when RCS is enabled, making it easier to respond to a specific message without breaking the flow.

2. Earlier this year, we started displaying emoji reactions from iPhone users on your Android phone. Now we’re taking a step further by letting you react to SMS texts from iPhone users with emoji as well. While RCS is the ultimate solution, we're doing what we can to help Android users have a way to consistently react to messages.

3. We’re making voice messages more accessible. Using machine learning, Voice Message Transcription auto-transcribes the message so you can access it with ease. Say you’re in a crowded space and get an audio message from a loved one: transcripts will let you “view” the audio like you would a traditional text message. In addition to Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, this feature is also available on Pixel 6, Pixel 6A, Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy Fold 4.

4. Reminders are now included directly in Messages to help you remember important moments without navigating across several apps on your phone. Remind yourself to call Mom on her birthday, or schedule that appointment during regular business hours. And if you save someone’s birthday or anniversary in your phone’s contacts app, you’ll get a gentle reminder about them when you open the Messages app.

5. You can now watch YouTube videos within Messages without ever leaving the app. So when someone sends you a YouTube link, you can quickly watch and respond without the hassle of switching back and forth.

6. If you are like me and always scrolling through messages endlessly to find the address that your friend sent you a while back, we got you covered. Messages will now intelligently suggest you “star” messages that contain texts like addresses, door codes and phone numbers to help you easily keep track and quickly find important conversations.

7. Sometimes texting is too slow and impersonal, so you need to get yourself on a video call. Messages will recognize texts like “Can you talk now?” and suggest a Meet call by showing an icon right next to the message. It will also suggest adding calendar events for messages like “Let’s meet at 6pm on Tuesday”, to help you stay on top of important events.

8. In some countries, we’re experimenting with a feature that lets you chat with businesses you found on Search and Maps directly through Messages, so all conversations appear in one place that’s searchable, private and secure. You can plan your next trip, score tickets to the big game and find deals from your favorite retailers — all without leaving the Messages app.

9. Messages work across your favorite devices, from your phone to Chromebook to your smartwatch. Try sending a message from your new Pixel Watch by asking Google Assistant.

10. Your messaging apps should work wherever you are—even in the air! That's why we partnered with United Airlines to offer messaging on United flights, when you have RCS turned on. It will be available on United WiFi for most carriers starting this fall, with broader support coming soon.

A fresh new look

We’re updating the Messages icon over the coming weeks to better reflect today's modern messaging experience and share the same look as many of Google's other products. It takes more than one side to have a conversation, and that’s reflected in the design, with overlapping messaging bubbles coming together as one.

Our Phone and Contacts apps will also be updated with the same look and feel to signal their shared purpose: helping you communicate.

Each is designed to adapt to Material You themes, so they can always match your personal style. And of course, we obsessed over every pixel to ensure these new icons are instantly recognizable as communication tools and accessible to everyone.

There’s more to come as we continue to build new tools and features into the app — all with the safety and security of Google. Download the Messages app on Google Play today to give it a spin, and try out the new features that will begin rolling out in the coming weeks.

Source: Android


Stay connected with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

With phones getting smarter and faster every year, it’s easy to forget why we ever started carrying them around in the first place: phone calling and texting. Let’s take a look at the newest Messages and Phone features on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that make it easier than ever to stay connected.

It can be frustrating when you can’t hear the person on the other side of an important phone call, like when you’re on a work call with your team, or while Mom’s giving you directions to the family reunion. So we improved the audio experience for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users with Clear Calling, rolling out in the coming months. It uses machine learning to automatically filter out background noise and enhance the voice on the other end of the line, so it’s easier to hear the person you’re talking to, even if they’re on a windy street or in a noisy restaurant.

If you have your hands full, you can send and receive calls and messages from your Google Pixel Watch too. The watch works with your phone to display Caller ID and spam warnings from incoming callers, so you don’t have to pull out your phone every time it rings. Plus, your watch will intelligently route the audio where you want it. So if you’re listening to a podcast on your Pixel Buds Pro and you answer a call from your watch, no problem — the audio will automatically connect to your earbuds.

Save time when you call a business

Pixel solves some of life’s most tedious tasks by using Google’s AI to make your phone calls more helpful.

Motion graphic showing Direct My Call feature on a Pixel 7 Pro, illustrating phone menu options for a business immediately displayed on screen for the caller. The caller then taps a phone menu option, and is shown the second tier of the phone tree.

Direct My Call, powered by Google’s Duplex technology, helps you navigate automated phone menus by transcribing the menu options and showing them on your screen for you to tap, so you don’t need to listen to or memorize them. Since launch, it has helped Pixel users navigate over 50 million calls with businesses. The new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro take this even further by showing you the menu options right away, before they’re even spoken, so you get to the right department even faster.

You can expect to see the menu options ahead of time when you call many of the most popular toll-free numbers in the U.S., and we're bringing this experience to more business numbers over time.

Security by design

We know privacy is top of mind for Pixel users. That’s why we designed these features to work on your Pixel device itself – the audio data never leaves the phone or is sent to anyone, including Google, unless you explicitly decide to share it to help improve these features. Your conversations stay private.

Together with existing features like Call Screen, Wait Times, and Hold For Me, these updates on the new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro help you communicate and connect, whether by avoiding missing key moments with those closest to you, or by saving your precious time and patience, so you can focus on more important things in your life. Both devices launch today.

Stay connected with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

With phones getting smarter and faster every year, it’s easy to forget why we ever started carrying them around in the first place: phone calling and texting. Let’s take a look at the newest Messages and Phone features on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that make it easier than ever to stay connected.

It can be frustrating when you can’t hear the person on the other side of an important phone call, like when you’re on a work call with your team, or while Mom’s giving you directions to the family reunion. So we improved the audio experience for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users with Clear Calling, rolling out in the coming months. It uses machine learning to automatically filter out background noise and enhance the voice on the other end of the line, so it’s easier to hear the person you’re talking to, even if they’re on a windy street or in a noisy restaurant.

If you have your hands full, you can send and receive calls and messages from your Google Pixel Watch too. The watch works with your phone to display Caller ID and spam warnings from incoming callers, so you don’t have to pull out your phone every time it rings. Plus, your watch will intelligently route the audio where you want it. So if you’re listening to a podcast on your Pixel Buds Pro and you answer a call from your watch, no problem — the audio will automatically connect to your earbuds.

Save time when you call a business

Pixel solves some of life’s most tedious tasks by using Google’s AI to make your phone calls more helpful.

Motion graphic showing Direct My Call feature on a Pixel 7 Pro, illustrating phone menu options for a business immediately displayed on screen for the caller. The caller then taps a phone menu option, and is shown the second tier of the phone tree.

Direct My Call, powered by Google’s Duplex technology, helps you navigate automated phone menus by transcribing the menu options and showing them on your screen for you to tap, so you don’t need to listen to or memorize them. Since launch, it has helped Pixel users navigate over 50 million calls with businesses. The new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro take this even further by showing you the menu options right away, before they’re even spoken, so you get to the right department even faster.

You can expect to see the menu options ahead of time when you call many of the most popular toll-free numbers in the U.S., and we're bringing this experience to more business numbers over time.

Security by design

We know privacy is top of mind for Pixel users. That’s why we designed these features to work on your Pixel device itself – the audio data never leaves the phone or is sent to anyone, including Google, unless you explicitly decide to share it to help improve these features. Your conversations stay private.

Together with existing features like Call Screen, Wait Times, and Hold For Me, these updates on the new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro help you communicate and connect, whether by avoiding missing key moments with those closest to you, or by saving your precious time and patience, so you can focus on more important things in your life. Both devices launch today.

Ask a Techspert: What’s breaking my text conversations?

Not to brag, but I have a pretty excellent group chat with my friends. We use it to plan trips, to send happy birthdays and, obviously, to share lots and lots of GIFs. It’s the best — until it’s not. We don’t all have the same kind of phones; we’ve got both Android phones and iPhones in the mix. And sometimes, they don’t play well together. Enter “green bubble issues” — things like, missing read receipts and typing indicators, low-res photos and videos, broken group chats…I could go on describing the various potential communication breakdowns, but you probably know what I’m talking about. Instead, I decided to ask Google’s Elmar Weber: What’s the problem with messaging between different phone platforms?

First, can you tell me what you do at Google?

I lead several engineering organizations including the team that builds Google’s Messages app, which is available on most Android phones today.

OK, then you’re the perfect person to talk to! So my first question: When did this start being a problem? I remember wayback when I had my first Android phone, I would text iPhone friends…and it was fine.

Texting has been around for a long time. Basic SMS texting — which is what you’re talking about here — is 30 years old. SMS, which means Short Message Service, was originally only 160 characters. Back then you couldn’t do things like send photos or reactions or read receipts. In fact, mobile phones weren’t made for messaging, they were designed for making phone calls. To send a message you actually had to hit the number buttons to get to the letters that you’d have to spell out. But people started using it a ton, and it sort of exploded. So this global messaging industry took off. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) was then introduced in the early 2000s, which let people send photos and videos for the first time. But that came with a lot of limitations too.

Got it. Then the messaging apps all started building their own systems to support modern messaging features like emoji reactions and typing indicators, because SMS/MMS were created long before those things were even dreamed of?

Yes, exactly.

I guess…we need a new SMS?

Well the new SMS is RCS, which stands for Rich Communication Services. It enables things like high-resolution photo and video sharing, read receipts, emoji reactions, better security and privacy with end-to-end encryption and more. Most major carriers support RCS, and Android users have been using it for years.

How long has RCS been around?

Version one of RCS was released December 15, 2008.

Who made it?

RCS isn’t a messaging app like Messages or WhatsApp — it’s an industry-wide standard. Similar to other technical standards (USB, 5G, email), it was developed by a group of different companies. In the case of RCS, it was coordinated by an association of global wireless operators, hardware chip makers and other industry players.

RCS makes messaging better, so if Android phones use this, then why are texts from iPhones still breaking? RCS sounds like an upgrade — so shouldn’t that fix everything?

There’s the hitch! So Android phones use RCS, and iPhones still don’t. iPhones still rely on SMS and MMS for conversations with Android users, which is why your group chats feel so outdated. Think of it like this: If you have two groups of people who use different spoken languages, they can communicate effectively in their respective languages to other people who speak their language, but they can’t talk to each other. And when they try to talk to one another, they have to act out what they're saying, as though they're playing charades. Now think of RCS as a magic translator that helps multiple groups speak fluently — but every group has to use the translator, and if one doesn’t, they’re each going to need to use motions again.

Do you think iPhones will start using RCS too?

I hope so! It’s not just about things like the typing indicators, read receipts or emoji reactions — everyone should be able to pick up their phone and have a secure, modern messaging experience. Anyone who has a phone number should get that, and that’s been lost a little bit because we’re still finding ourselves using outdated messaging systems. But the good news is that RCS could bring that back and connect all smartphone users, and because so many different companies and carriers are working together on it, the future is bright.

Check outAndroid.com/GetTheMessageto learn why now is the time for Apple to fix texting.

4 ways to plan in-person gatherings with Google Assistant

Like so many others, I’ve spent the last two years celebrating milestones and connecting with friends and family online — from virtually blowing out candles for my grandpa’s 86th birthday to catching up with college friends over Google Meet. Now, many of us are transitioning to a world where we can give long hugs, enjoy a meal and just chat with each other in person again.

It’s wonderful to reunite like this with the people we love. But let’s be honest… getting together in person isn’t as easy as clicking the “join” button from the couch. Planning in-person gatherings can be time consuming and a little stressful, especially if you’re out of practice. That’s why we’re sharing a few ways Google Assistant can help you easily meet up IRL — so you can spend less time managing logistics and more time staying present with your friends and family.

1. Find a spot to meet

Finding a place to eat can take a lot of research (and debate among your friends). Luckily, Google Assistant can help narrow down your options. Just say, “Hey Google, restaurants near me” and Google Assistant will quickly pull up local spots to grab a bite.

Illustration of two people discussing what to eat, with one person suggesting tacos from a purple speech bubble.

2. Set reminders for your to-do list

Maybe you’re in charge of bringing the board game or making the dinner reservation for Friday night. Google Assistant can help you keep track of those to-do’s. For example, just say, “Hey Google, remind me to make dinner reservations at 5:00 p.m.” and you’ll get a nudge right at that time. You can even set up recurring reminders for things like monthly get-togethers and weekly date nights.

Illustration of a person watering a green plant and receiving a phone alert.

3. Update friends with hands-free messaging

On the go but need to respond to a last-minute text on your phone? Let Google reply for you. Say something like, “Hey Google, text Taylor ‘I reserved a table for us happy emoji’” to keep your friends and family updated.

Illustration of a person driving in a car with their phone on the dashboard. A pink speech bubble with a smiley face indicates she’s dictating text to Google Assistant.

4. Get a ride in seconds

Quickly get to your gathering so you don’t miss any more time with friends and family. Using your phone, just say “Hey Google, book a Lyft ride to (your destination of choice)” and Google Assistant will open your Lyft app to get you on your way.

Illustration of a masked person in a city getting into a car with the Lyft logo.

New Android features for messaging, entertainment and more

The Android team has been busy working on a suite of updates that add new dimensions to the apps you already love. From huge updates to messaging (including more connection with your iPhone friends) to powerful photo editing tools and even smarter ways to pay for parking, these upgrades bring more helpful technology to messaging, entertainment and more.

Share more with your iPhone friends, and stay on top of your inbox with Messages

An illustration of an Android user seeing the text reactions from an iPhone user
10:25

Feel the ❤️. Or the 😂. Or whichever emoji your friends are feeling in the moment. Reactions from iPhone users will now appear as emoji on text messages — just like when you’re messaging with someone using an Android device. And now everyone can enjoy your videos in the same resolution you do when you send them as Google Photos links right inside the conversation. Soon, you’ll be able to send your photos this way, too.

New birthday reminders in Messages means you'll never miss their special day.

That’s not all that’s coming to Messages. There are also updates that help you break through the clutter to focus on the conversations that matter most:

  • Automatically sort your messages into Personal and Business tabs with an organized inbox, so you can find what you need faster.
  • Reduce the clutter of one-time password messages by having them automatically deleted after 24 hours.
  • Get gentle nudges to reply to messages you may have missed or need to follow up on.
  • Never forget to wish your friends a happy birthday, with reminders to reach out to your friends on their special day.

Read more about the new messaging updates in our blog post, and explore them on your device as they roll out over the coming weeks.

Type what you really want to say with grammar correction

Animation of an Android phone on a messages conversation. As the user types, Gboard offers suggestions to improve the sentence.

Grammar correction on Gboard helps you type the way you want to be heard.

More than just a spell check, the new grammar correction feature on Gboard works entirely on your device to detect grammatical errors and offer suggestions to help you bring your thoughts to life.

When words aren’t enough to tell your story, Emoji Kitchen now has more than 2,000 new emoji mashups available as stickers via Gboard. You can make it rain 🍔, share your love for 🥨 or make your favorite emoji sparkle 💫 in an endless array of messaging possibilities. And for Pixel users, Gboard will convert your words into colorful stickers built with your exact text when typing in messaging apps in English (U.S.).

Accessible conversations, even when you’re offline, with Live Transcribe

Animation of an Android phone demonstrating the Live Transcribe app. As the user speaks, their words are automatically converted into large text on the screen.

Live Transcribe now works wherever you go, even if you don't have Wi-Fi or data.

Developed in collaboration with the premier university for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, Gallaudet University, Live Transcribe provides real-time speech-to-text captions to enable everyday in-person conversations between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. Preinstalled on Pixel and Samsung devices and available as a free download to all, the app now offers an offline mode for when Wi-Fi and data aren’t available, like on an airplane, in the subway, or in other areas without consistent internet access.

Turn more photos into portraits with Portrait Blur

Illustration of an Android phone Blurring the background of a pet photo.

Portrait Blur now can be used on photos of more subjects, like pets, food and plants, too. Even if the picture was taken years ago.

If you’re a Google One member or a Pixel user, you can already use Portrait Blur in Google Photos, a powerful photo editing tool that can intelligently blur the background on photos of people, post-snap. Coming soon to the Photos app on Android, these users will be able to use this effect on photos of more subjects, like pets, food and plants, too. Even if the picture was taken years ago. Even if portrait mode wasn’t on at the time. Whether it’s photos of your four-legged friends on vacation, an artistic shot of your prized houseplant or just what you had for lunch today, the only thing left to focus on is how you’re going to share them.

All the latest on all your favorites with Highlights on Google TV

Illustration of an Android user looking through Highlights on Google TV in front of his TV
10:25

The new Highlights tab on Google TV offers a personalized feed of entertainment news, reviews and more based on movies and shows you’re interested in. Catch up on articles about the entertainment you love, or track the next big sensation, all in one place.

Animation of an Android phone scrolling through a feed of articles and backstage videos from a selection of popular television shows.

Learn more about your current and soon-to-be favorite shows with Highlights on Google TV mobile.

And if you discover something new that you’re interested in, one tap will take you straight to the movie, TV series or video the article is based on, so you can play, rate or Watchlist it for later.

Pay for parking with Google Assistant

Animation of an Android phone, demonstrating a user following the steps to pay for parking using Google Assistant.

Pay for parking using just your voice, with a little help from Google Assistant.

Google Assistant and Google Pay can now help you pay for parking, check your parking status, and extend your parking using just your voice. Just say, “Hey Google, pay for parking” once you’ve parked, and follow Assistant prompts to pay from your phone. No more coins, no more confusion. And when you need to check your parking status or pay for more parking, just say “Hey Google, parking status” and “Hey Google, extend parking.” Available in ParkMobile street parking zones in over 400 cities in the US.

Fine-tune your digital habits with the screen time widget

Animation of an Android phone, demonstrating how the screen time widget can be resized on the Home screen. The app displays the users daily screen time, as well as their top three most used apps.

Customize your Home screen and fine-tune your digital habits with the screen time widget.

Staying on top of your screen time is all about balance. A new screen time widget helps get the ball rolling by offering a glimpse of the three apps you use the most each day. Tap the widget to open Digital Wellbeing, where you’ll find some helpful ways to fine-tune your digital habits, including:

  • Daily timers for your apps
  • Focus mode, which pauses distracting apps at set times
  • Bedtime mode, which silences your device and changes the screen to black and white at bedtime

Share with more people with Nearby Share

Animation of an Android phone using Nearby Share to send a scenic photo to multiple nearby Android friends.

Use Nearby Share to share files with more people around you.

Nearby Share already lets you easily share photos, videos, documents, links, audio files or entire folders between nearby devices. A new update makes it easy to share with multiple people rather than just one person at a time. Simply tap to add more recipients during a transfer. It’s rolling out now on all Android 6+ devices.

These new features make it easier than ever to share new ideas, enjoy your favorite entertainment, and explore the world around you — just another set of features as your Android device becomes more helpful all the time.

Less to stress and more to love with Messages by Google

Messaging is how we stay in touch with friends, keep up with family, and get things done. But it’s not always as easy as it should be. Conversations with friends on other platforms can be unnecessarily challenging. Important messages slip through the cracks because of cluttered inboxes. And sometimes we forget entirely to reach out on special occasions.

Our latest updates to Messages by Google help ease some of these pain points so that you’re free to connect with the people you care about — no matter what device they use.

Less out of the loop, more in the group

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.

While our latest updates can’t fix everything about Android and iPhone conversations, here are a few ways we're addressing some of the biggest issues we've heard from you.

Better reactions 😍

Feel the love (and laughter, confusion or excitement) from your iPhone friends, too. Reactions from iPhone users are now displayed on your Android phone as emojis, just like when you’re messaging with someone who’s using an Android device. Starting on devices set to English, with additional languages to follow.

Share sharper videos

Today, the RCS standard lets people with Android devices share beautiful, high-quality photos and videos with one another. But unfortunately, without RCS, they look blurry when you share them with your iPhone friends. Now everyone can watch your videos in the same resolution that you do since we’re bringing Google Photos into Messages. You can send your videos as Google Photos links right inside the conversation, preserving their clarity. Coming soon, you’ll be able to send your photos this way, too.

But these new updates can only do so much. We encourage Apple to join the rest of the mobile industry and adopt RCS so that we can make messaging better and more secure, no matter what device you choose.

Less clutter, more conversation

We receive so many messages each day, it can be difficult to separate the important ones from everything else, and easy to miss some altogether. These new tools help you break through the clutter and stay on top of the conversations that matter the most.

Keep your messages organized

Organized inbox automatically sorts your messages into Personal and Business tabs so you can easily find what you need at any given moment — similarly to how most of our email inboxes work. Plus, you can set one-time password messages to be automatically deleted after 24 hours to help reduce the clutter even more. Originally launched in India, this is now expanding to the U.S.

Get relationship superpowers

Did you leave someone hanging recently? Now gentle nudges can remind you to reply to messages you may have missed or need to follow-up on so that nothing important slips through the cracks. This will roll out first to English users around the globe.

Less belated, more elated

It’s way too easy to forget important dates. Here are a few new ways Messages can help you send the right thing at the right moment to your favorite people.

Remember to celebrate 🎉

It’s now easier than ever to remember to wish your friends a happy birthday. If you save someone’s birthday in your device’s contacts app, you’ll get a gentle reminder about your friend’s special day when you open Messages or jump into a conversation with them. (Candles not included.)

Create the perfect emoji

If you have Gboard set as your keyboard in Messages, you don’t need to settle for one emoji to tell your story. Emoji Kitchen is bigger than ever with over 2,000 new emoji mashups available as stickers. Replace heart eyes with pretzels, make it rain disco balls or add some love to your favorite foods in an endless array of emoji possibilities.

Hopefully these updates, which roll out over the coming weeks, make it easier to connect to everyone and everything you care about. Open or download Messages by Google to try them.

Read more about other great features coming to Android.

6 new features on Android this summer

From keeping your account password safe to scheduling text messages to send at the right moment, we’re constantly rolling out new updates to the 3 billion active Android devices around the world. Today, we’re welcoming summer with six updates for your Android that focus on safety  — so you’re protected at every turn.


1. Android Earthquake Alerts System is rolling out globally

Earthquake alert screen that clicks through to an earthquake safety info screen

Last year, we embarked on a mission to build the world’s largest earthquake detection network, based on technology built into Android devices. With this free system, people in affected areas can get alerts seconds before an earthquake hits, giving you advance notice in case you need to seek safety. We recently launched the Android Earthquake Alerts System in New Zealand and Greece. Today, we’re introducing the Android Earthquake Alerts System in Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

We are prioritizing launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries over the coming year.


2. Star what’s important with the Messages app

With tons of messages from family, friends, colleagues and others, it’s easy for information to get lost. Now, you can star a message on your Messages app to keep track of what’s important, and easily find it later without scrolling through all of your conversations. Just tap and hold your message, then star it. And when you want to revisit a message, like your friend’s address or the photo from your family reunion, tap on the starred category. 


Starred messages will start to roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.


3. Find the perfect Emoji Kitchen sticker at the perfect time

After typing a message, relevant emoji mixes are proactively displayed at the top of the keyword

In May, we introduced a new section in your recently used Emoji Kitchen stickers so you can quickly get back to the ones you use most frequently. Soon you’ll also start to see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen once you’ve typed a message. These will help you discover the perfect emoji combination at the exact moment you need it.


Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.


4. Access more of your favorite apps with just your voice

Ask Google to open or search many of your favorite apps using just your voice — you can say things like,  “Hey Google, pay my Capital One bill” to jump right into the app and complete the task or “Hey Google, check my miles on Strava” to quickly see your weekly progress right on the lock screen. See what else you can do by saying “Hey Google, shortcuts.” 


5. Improved Password Input and gaze detection on Voice Access

A gaze detection icon on a screen changes from crossed out to active when a character turns its head towards the device to speak the "scroll down" command in Voice Access

Built with and for people with motor disabilities, and helpful for those without, Voice Access gives you quick and efficient phone and app navigation with just your voice.


With gaze detection, now in beta, you can ask Voice Access to work only when you are looking at the screen — so you can naturally move between talking to friends and using your phone. 


Voice Access now has enhanced password input. When it recognizes a password field, it will let you input letters, numbers and symbols. For example, you can say “capital P a s s w o r d” or names of symbols (like “dollar sign” to input a $), so it’s faster to safely enter your password.


6. More customization and new app experiences on Android Auto

After a user taps on the Messages app icon and + New, Google Assistant is activated to help send a new message from the launcher screen

You can now customize more of your Android Auto experience for easier use, like personalizing your launcher screen directly from your phone and manually setting dark mode. It’s also easier to browse content with new tabs in your media apps, a “back to top” option and an A to Z button in the scroll bar. And, if it’s your first time using Android Auto, you can now get started faster in your car with a few simple taps.


We’ve also added new app experiences to help enhance your drive. EV charging, parking and navigation apps are now available to use in Android Auto. Plus, we’ve improved the messaging experience, so you can access your favorite messaging apps  from the launcher screen. You can easily read and send new messages directly from apps like WhatsApp or Messages — now available globally. 


These Android Auto features are available on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to your compatible car.

Your Android is now even safer — and 5 other new features

It wasn't all that long ago that we introduced Android users to features like Emoji Kitchen and auto-narrated audiobooks. But we like to stay busy, so today we're highlighting six of the latest Google updates that will make Android phones more secure and convenient — for everyone.

1. Keep your accounts safe with Password Checkup on Android

Password Checkup notification screen

Password Checkup notification screen

On Android, you can save passwords to your Google account, making it quicker and easier to sign into your apps and services using Autofill. Your login credentials are one of your first lines of defense against intruders, so we’ve integrated Password Checkup into devices running Android 9 and above. This feature lets you know if the password you used has been previously exposed and what to do about it.


Now when you enter a password into an app on your phone using Autofill with Google, we’ll check those credentials against a list of known compromised passwords — that is, passwords that have potentially already been stolen and posted on the web. If your credentials show up on one of these lists, we’ll alert you and guide you to check your password and change it. 


Learn more on our support page about changing unsafe passwords. And you can find additional information about how this product works in this blog post.


We’re passionate about building defense into every detail on Android, from downloading apps to browsing the web to choosing where and when you share your data. Learn more about how Android keeps you safe.

2. Use schedule send in Messages to write a text now and send it later

Schedule a text to send it at your chosen date and time

Click on the image above to learn how to schedule a text to send at your chosen date and time

Over half a billion people across the world use Messages to seamlessly and safely connect with family, friends and others every month. To continue  improving the way you communicate and help you stay in touch, we’re starting to roll out schedule send in Messages for phones running Android 7 and newer. 


Having loved ones in another time zone or on a different schedule can sometimes make it difficult to send a text at an appropriate time. With schedule send, you can compose a message ahead of time when it’s convenient for you, and schedule it to send at the right moment. Just write your message as you normally would, then hold and press the send button to select a date and time to deliver your message. Download Messages or update to the latest version to schedule your next text.

3. No need to look at your screen, with TalkBack

Start and stop media with Talkback gestures

Click on the image above to see how to start and stop media with Talkback gestures 

For those who are blind or have trouble seeing the display, the new version of TalkBack, Android’s screen reader, is now available. Using spoken feedback and gestures, TalkBack makes Android even more accessible and opens up a full phone experience without needing to look at your screen. We worked closely with the blind and low vision communities on this revamp of TalkBack to incorporate the most popularly requested features including: more intuitive gestures, a unified menu, a new reading control menu and more. Get TalkBack today by downloading or updating your Android accessibility apps in the Google Play Store.

4. Get more done hands-free with Google Assistant

Use Google Assistant to send a text, even when your phone is locked

Use Google Assistant to send a text, even when your phone is locked

We want to give you more ways to use your phone hands-free — so you can do things like use your voice to make calls, set timers or alarms and play music. Now, the latest updates to Google Assistant make it easier to get things done on your phone without needing to be right next to it.


Assistant now works better even when your phone is locked or across the room with new cards that can be read with just a glance. Just say “Hey Google, set an alarm” or “Hey Google, play pop music on Spotify.” To get the most out of Assistant when your phone is locked, simply turn on Lock Screen Personal Results in Assistant setting and say “Hey Google '' to send text messages and make calls.

5. Come to the dark side with dark theme in Google Maps 

San Francisco on Google Maps dark theme

San Francisco on Google Maps dark theme

These days, we’re all experiencing a bit of screen fatigue. With dark theme in Google Maps soon expanding to all Android users globally, you can give your eyes a much-needed break and save on battery life. Simply head to your Settings, tap on Theme and then on “Always in Dark Theme” to lower the lights when you’re navigating, exploring, or getting things done with Maps. Change your mind? Just tap on “Always in Light Theme” to switch it back.

6. A better drive with Android Auto

Stay entertained with voice-activated games on your display with Android Auto

Stay entertained with voice-activated games on your display with Android Auto

Android Auto’s new features help you enjoy the drive more. With custom wallpapers, you can now select from a variety of car-inspired backgrounds to personalize your car display. For longer drives, you and your passengers can stay entertained with voice-activated games like trivia and “Jeopardy!” Just say, “Hey Google, play a game” to get started. 


We’ve also launched shortcuts on the launch screen. These provide convenient access to your contacts and even allow you to use Assistant to complete tasks like checking the weather or remotely adjusting the thermostat by simply tapping on the icon on your car display, just as you would on your phone. For cars with wider screens, you can do more with a split-screen that features a real-time view of Google Maps and media controls. And if you have family and friends coming along for the ride, you can now set a privacy screen to control when Android Auto appears on your car display. 


These Android Auto features will be available in the coming days on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to your compatible car.

Source: Android


Helping you connect around the world with Messages

Whether you’re making plans or just catching up, many of us rely on messaging to stay in touch. Messages by Google lets you start a video call from your conversation, message from the web, and use helpful features like Smart Reply, while also protecting you from spam. Today we’re sharing the latest updates we’ve made to Messages to help you connect safely around the world. 

RCS messaging is now available globally

As smartphones get more advanced, our communication apps should also progress to meet our changing needs. For the past few years, we’ve worked with the mobile industry and device makers on several carrier networks in certain countries to provide chat features in Messages based on the open Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard. Chat features upgrade SMS text messaging so you can send and receive better quality photos and videos, chat over Wi-Fi or data, know when your message is read, share reactions, and enjoy more dynamic and engaging group chats. 


Today, we’ve completed our global rollout of chat features to make this modern messaging experience universal and interconnected for everyone on Android. Now anyone using Messages around the world1 has access to modern chat features either from their carrier or directly from Google.

Gif illustrating that chat features are available around the world

More security in your chat conversations 

We recognize that your conversations are private and it’s our responsibility to keep your personal information safe. We’re continually improving security protections to safeguard your privacy and will be rolling out end-to-end encryption, starting with one-on-one RCS conversations between people using Messages. End-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including Google and third parties, can read the content of your messages as they travel between your phone and the phone of the person you’re messaging. This will roll out to beta testers beginning this month and continue into next year. Your eligible conversations will automatically upgrade to be end-to-end encrypted. End-to-end encryption is only available when both you and the person you’re messaging have Messages installed and chat features on. To learn more about this feature, please visit our help center


We’re excited to share these updates and continue to improve the Messages experience around the world. To access the newest features, update your Messages app to the latest version or download the app and turn chat features on.

1 In some cases, RCS availability depends on your device and service provider.