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.

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.