Google’s campaign to push Apple to adopt RCS is not going anywhere fast, but the company isn’t exactly resting on its laurels in the meantime. On Thursday, Google announced ten new features coming to Messages and a fresh icon for the app.
Many of the new additions in Google Messages are features you’ve seen in other messaging apps. For example, you’ll be able to respond to individual messages in a conversation. This is a feature that iMessage and WhatsApp have had for several years. You can also finally watch YouTube videos in Messages without leaving the app.
Speaking of iMessage, Google Messages users will soon be able to react to SMS texts from iPhone users with emojis. Google started displaying emoji reactions from iPhone users on Android devices earlier this year, but now Android users can react back.
The Messages app will also make more suggestions going forward. If you receive a message containing important information like an address or a phone number, the Messages app will intelligently suggest that you “star” the message so you can find it more easily in the future. The app will suggest contextual actions based on the content of certain messages as well, such as starting a Meet call or adding a calendar event.
Other new features include auto-transcription of voice messages (available on Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 6A, Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Galaxy Z Fold 4), reminders in Messages, support for Pixel Watch, and messaging on United Airlines flights.
Finally, Google has also refreshed the app icon “to better reflect today’s modern messaging experience and share the same look as many of Google’s other products.” You can take a closer look at the new icon below (it’s the one in the middle):
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