Google Messages new update makes it look a bit like the iPhone’s Messages app
To commemorate one billion monthly active users, Google is introducing several new customization options to the Messages app.
What is special interesting about the update is that a few features are reminiscent of what you’ll find in Apple’s own Messages app. For example, there’s Photomoji, which lets you cut specific parts of a photo and use them as emoji reactions. iOS 17 has something similar called Stickers. In Google Messages, cutouts are “saved to a special tab for reuse,” and other people in a group chat can use the same Photomojis at any time.
The similarities don’t end there. Google Messages is adding profiles that allow users to create an introductory bio about themselves in addition to their name and a photo. The iOS counterpart would be Contact Poster. Additionally, the app now has animated screen effects, similar to the message animations on the iPhone. Unlike iOS, you can’t activate the colorful displays whenever you want, as Google’s display requires you to enter specific ‘prompt words’. The full list of clues is not included in the announcement, although two are mentioned.
Typing “I love you” launches a bunch of hearts. As you enter ‘it’s snowing’, snowflakes will probably fall from the top. There was no demo showing the latter, so we can’t say for sure.
Of course, the update isn’t just about copying Apple.
There are Voice Moods that let you paste an emoji onto a voice recording, giving it extra visual flair. Additionally, Google says it will “increase the bitrate and sampling rate” of voice messages to improve audio quality. You can then use Custom Bubbles to change the color scheme of a chat, namely the speech bubbles and the background, to whatever you want. This can help you differentiate conversations so you don’t accidentally send the wrong text to your mother when it was meant for a friend.
The last two aren’t as impressive, but they can add some nice touches to a chat. Now when you reply to a message with an emoji, a short animation called a reaction effect plays at the same time. Also, standalone emojis sent through the app will have additional visual effects, such as glitter.
Once you get the patch you’ll be able to try out most of these features, so keep an eye out for when it eventually arrives. The two outliers are voting moods and response effects; both of which are currently in beta. To try these out, you’ll need to become a beta tester for Google Messages. according to the official support page.
In addition to the Messages update, Google is adding something else new features for other Android platforms. There’s a lot being implemented, so we’re only going to mention the more impactful additions.
In the future, smartwatches with Wear OS can now control more smart devices, such as vacuum cleaners and groups of smart lights. The TalkBack tool will have an AI voice that will read out text descriptions to help blind people understand the content in front of them. And finally, Live Caption on smartphones will be available in more languages.
Check out Ny Breaking’s list of the best Android phones for 2023.