If text conversations are now often fragmented across various apps such as iMessage, Messenger, or WhatsApp, Google has highlighted today some improvements coming to its Messages app on Android. In addition to SMS text messages, this app supports RCS, the new messaging standard pushed by carriers that Google would really, really want Apple to support.
With these latest updates to its Messages app, Google also wants to improve the messaging experience between iPhones and Android phones. As an example, Google’s Messages app could already display emoji reactions on messages from iPhone users, but users can now react to SMS texts from iPhone users 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,” Google explained today.
For RCS conversations, Google Messages is adding the ability to view a voice message transcribed into text. This feature uses machine learning, and it’s currently only available on the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 6A, Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22, and the Galaxy Fold 4.
Google Messages is adding more intelligent features including suggestions to create calendar events and reminders from messages. The app will also suggest starring messages that contain important information such as addresses, door codes, and phone numbers.
Lastly, Google Messages is adding some iMessages features including the ability to reply to individual messages in group conversations, as well as playable YouTube videos in conversations. If you have an Android smartwatch, you’ll also be able to send messages with Google Assistant.
In the coming weeks, Google Messages will also get a new icon inspired by Google’s Material You design language. “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,” the company said.