30 July 2020
Ever since Google made a jump to RCS texting protocol, the default SMS app on Android i.e. Messages has become a lot more feature-rich and at par with instant messaging app rivals. Google has now announced Messages is receiving a number of new features like stickers, reactions, Duo integration, and an image editor.
Starting with reactions, these work exactly the same way you must have seen on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Tap and hold on any message to get a list of reactions that represent anger, laughter, sadness, surprise, love, and dislike. A user can then choose the appropriate reaction as per his need.
Google's Smart Reply functionality is all about providing smart reply suggestions based on the conversation's context. It is now getting an expansion in the form of stickers. It means the app will now show sticker suggestions in addition to the existing text suggestions. This feature will work only if Smart Reply functionality is enabled.
Next up, a photo editor has been added to Messages that will allow users to edit photos before sharing them. It is a basic editor with support for doodling and adding texts to the image. The important thing to take note of is that it only works with photos clicked using the in-app camera and does not support photos imported from the phone's gallery.
Google Messages is ideally a texting app but in modern times, we tend to go beyond texting to express ourselves and connect with people. Two of the commonly used methods are sending audio messages or making a video call. Google has now added a dedicated microphone icon for quick audio recording and Duo integration for video calling. Both of these functionalities can be accessed by visiting a particular conversation.
All these features have already begun to roll out. They should become available for your particular device anytime soon but before you look for them, do ensure that you have enabled RCS messaging within the Messages app settings.