RCS stands for Rich Communication Service, designed to replace traditional SMS and MMS. It gives users more functionality and benefits like higher quality chats, support for read receipts, typing indicators, location sharing, and video calling, and for the same reason, Google is considering making it a standard.

Google is trying hard to compete against Apple’s iMessage service. Most of the features are welcome improvements. With the new capabilities, Google Messages will give more users the confidence to rely less on third-party messaging platforms.

AI-Generated Replies to Google Messages

Google is experimenting with a new feature, AI-generated replies, allowing users to generate replies to messages using AI. Surely, these will be based on the context of the conversation. Users will have the ability to review and edit the generated replies before sending them. This feature is still in the early development phase, and it’s still being determined how long it will take before Google makes this public.

End-to-End Encryption Support for RCS Group

Google started rolling out E2EE to RCS group chats. This will ensure that the sender and recipients of messages are the only people able to read them; even Google can’t read your message. It helps protect users’ privacy and security. Google Messages already has E2EE on RCS chats on Google Messages since 2021. To enable E2EE on the RCS group, check the Google Messages settings and toggle to enable E2EE as ON.

This feature was one of the most requested features. Now, more people can enjoy this feature. The company first spotted testing this feature back in December last year. It’s worth mentioning that it’s currently not supported by iOS users, as Apple iMessage doesn’t support this feature.

Vodafone Switch to Google Messages from Their Own RCS Messaging

Vodafone users will no longer be supported by RCS by Vodafone. The company wants its users to switch to Google Messages. For the same reason, Samsung device users have switched to custom Google Messages as a default app with the support of Google RCS. Meanwhile, Huawei devices don’t support RCS because of a lack of ability.

Google Messages Shortcut in Pixel Launcher

The newly designed side-by-side feature shows a larger profile avatar having a smaller name, and the new messages shortcut now displays recent conversations in a carousel-like approach. To use this, search for the Messages in the Pixel Launcher search.

Contact Photos in Conversation Threads

Now users will see contact photos in conversation threads. These contact photos will appear on the left side of the contact name. It will make it easier for users to identify whom they are talking to, and it also looks more visually appealing. Other social giants like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and iMessage have also used this style despite having different alignments for placing the contact photos.

Vertical Photo Picker Gallery

Messages now have a vertical photo picker. This means the gallery now shows images in a vertical grid, making it easier to see more photos at once. That’s not the only improvement; the Vertical Photo Picker also has a Camera Shutter button to click the image instantly and a New Folder button.

class="wp-block-heading">Redesigned Voice Recorder

Google Messages also received a redesigned voice recorder, which is now more visually appealing. It also gets dynamic colour and a more user-friendly UI. The circular record button also has a waveform preview and playback control.

Send Photos FasAis a new option for Google Messahat that allows users to send photos faster. To make the process faster, Google Messages will reduce the image’s resolution. It can be useful in scenarios when you have a poor internet connection. To use this feature, users must enable it from the Google Messages Settings for “Send Photos Faster.” After enabling this, the lower resolution, depending on the size of the original image, will be resized. For example, a 10MB image will be resized to 2 MB. It will send the images automatically resized at a lower resolution after enabling the “Send Image Faster” option.

Read Receipts

Google Messages now has a read receipt status icon for the chats list. Previously, we needed to individually check the read receipt by opening a chat conversation to see if it appeared on the bottom of the screen, showing a double-check that says “Your Message has been delivered” or a colour-filled pair of checks after it’s read. You may feel more crowded, as previously it was more clutter-free. However, it is a great addition to Google Messages. The company is also testing the unread message count, which will appear on the right side of the chat.

The design change displays read receipts using an icon instead of a word. If you have a timer, it means the message is being sent. A single check means the message is sent. Double-check means your message has been delivered, and lastly, the coloured-filled double-check means the message has been read.

Some of the features are still in beta and will roll out widely. So, if you have been using Google Messages, keep an eye on the update, as it has already started rolling out and will roll out to more users in the future.

Error: Auto-organizing categories feature disappearance for some users

Google Messages automatically organizes all messages into categories like Personal, Business, and OTPs, but this feature on some devices has disappeared. This issue appears on several versions of Google Messages. At this point, it’s unclear what is causing this issue, but we know that it uses machine learning to group messages together based on the content and sender.

A lot of features are still in development, and we could expect these to come with the future update of Android, which is Android 14, scheduled to release in August or after August.