Google and messaging apps haven’t always been best friends – hell, Hangouts is only a few weeks away from finally dying a protracted death – but that doesn’t mean things aren’t going well with his current infatuation. Despite some Apple-related setbacks, coupled with a massive PR campaign, Messages continues to set the Android world on fire, especially whenever RCS is active. Now Google is working on adding a long-awaited feature to the app that should help tame even the most rebellious group chats.
Just yesterday, we saw a ton of new features coming to Messages soon, including some big changes to emoji reactions. Now Google is adding answers to the mix as it continues to catch up with other major messaging services. 9to5Google reviewed the app’s latest APK and was able to include RCS responses. Replies have been around for a while on most other messaging platforms, highlighting the text you’re specifically replying to with a visual indicator. Support responses iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and now it’s Google’s turn.
The messages here don’t break the mold, either in how you trigger a response or how it’s displayed on the screen. Starting a reply is easy: either press and hold the message or swipe left. In either case, an arrow icon will appear next to the selected text. Just type in your answer and hit “Submit” and the original message will appear next to it. While it’s not public yet – at least not for most users – 9to5Google’s verified responses can be viewed seamlessly from all sides of the conversation, even on phones where it hasn’t been active and on the Google web app.
It’s not yet clear when the answers or any of the features seen yesterday will arrive on Android, but Google is constantly surprising users with new improvements. We’re also not too far away from the Pixel 7 presentation, so a stage presentation is out of the question.