Google Messages New Features
Google champions RCS, the mobile messaging protocol. In line with that, the company announced some new features.
But first, Google stated that:
“Today marks a new milestone that we are incredibly proud of: There are now more than one billion monthly active users with RCS enabled in Google Messages. We are grateful to our partners and our users that have advocated for RCS over the years — it’s been a lot of work to get here, and we want to thank you. Beyond Google Messages, there are other messaging clients that use RCS and we are pleased that Apple also took their first step two weeks ago in announcing that they’re embracing RCS.” – Google
One of the new features is similar to iOS. This new feature is associated with your Google account to create a Contact Poster-like profile. That is, it has your name and photo.
The company is also adding Photomoji. It enables you to crop people out of your photos. Then, you can use those photos to react to messages the same way you would with an emoji. For instance, you can turn your cat photos into reactions.
This feature is also being offered in iOS 17. But the difference is that you turn the photo edits into stickers so you can add them to your iMessage conversations.
The app will also allow you to attach an emoji each time you send a voice message. Google calls it a “mood.” You can use it to let the recipient know the tone of your message.
Furthermore, the emoji that you share in group chats may also include an animation.
And Google Messages has an answer to the green bubble and blue bubble situation. Google will now let you change the color of your chat bubbles in every conversation.
But it may no longer be necessary once Apple adopts RCS messaging next year.
Last year, Tim Cook said that he would want to sell you an iPhone, rather than bringing RCS support to Apple’s iPhone. At that time, Tim thought the demand for RCS was not there. Over the years, Google has shamed Apple over this issue.
But Apple did cave in. Recently, Apple announced that it would soon provide RCS support.
You may not care about RCS because you are using iPhones and so are your friends and family. But this is a step in the right direction.
The EU pressures Apple to open up its iMessage and its App Store. It is similar to how Apple switched over to USB-C when it released the iPhone 15.
RCS is different from SMS/MMS. The reason for this is that the latter does not implement end-to-end encryption. In that case, it makes SMS weak and insecure. Anyone can just read the message.
On Android phones, the RCS messages are end-to-end encrypted. It is not as robust as the encryption found in iMessage. But it is more secure than SMS.
Meanwhile, other Google apps and devices will also get some updates. For instance, Gboard will get an emoji overhaul that lets you create unique stickers. The company also added 10 new free channels to its Google TV. The other updates are for Wear OS. Some accessibility features will also be included.