Google is adding an Android version of Apple’s iMessage called Chat—one that will provide read receipts and to indicate when someone is typing. Chat is expected to be launched in the UK and France before the end of June, and Android users will be able to opt into the new texting service when it is finally launched.
Chat, like iMessage, offers you an easier way to texts on your Android phone because it provides you with read receipts and ellipsis symbols to indicate when someone is typing. You can send texts messages through Wi-Fi, which is a good way to save your cellular data. It enables you to send higher resolution images and videos—and you can opt in and out of the service as you so desire.
“While we’re pleased with this progress, our goal is to seamlessly bring a modern messaging experience to every Android user around the world, regardless of their device or carrier,” Google’s product management director Sanaz Ahari said in a statement per CNN.
No specific date has been fixed regarding availability of Chat in other countries, but there are plans to roll out the service before the end of the year—soon maybe.
Messages remains one of the most used Google app on the Android OS, and keeps getting popular because of its flexibility and ease of use. Not only does it come with a lot of features that most other SMS apps don’t have, it receives regular updates from Google.
Talking about regular updates, Messages recently welcomed Google’s powerful Assistant. Messages will get smarter, which is something I pretty much like. The app has replaced the default messaging app on my phone since it was launched, and things will remain that way for a very long time should Google continue with powerful updates like the one it just added.
The Google Assistant, however, won’t be working the same way it did in the now retired Google Allo because it can’t be invoked directly in Messages. The Assistant in Messages will work in the background to automatically provide useful suggestions when it can. Example of how this works is when you are talking about something like food, or music, or movie, a card prompting you to launch an Assistant query will show up in your feed. Using the feature is optional, and you can turn it off in the app’s settings.
Google has started rolling out spam protection feature for Messages. On the app, you will see a new “Spam protection” option in the Advanced section of your Settings menu [3-dot -> Settings -> Advanced], which will appear allowing you to manually toggle the feature on or off.
When you turn on the feature from your Settings, certain information about the messages you receive is sent to Google [information such as your phone number and the actual content of the message itself is not included]. Google then examines the received information to determine if it bears any relationship with spam messages in order to detect them.