- Google announces that RCS messaging has reached over one billion monthly active users via Messages.
- Google Messages is getting a major update to celebrate the achievement, first rolling out to beta users.
- New features in Google Messages include Photomojis, voice moods, screen effects, themes, and much more.
The default messaging app on most Android phones, Google Messages, has received a big update today. Many new features were introduced with this overhaul, some of which are going to make your conversations quite lively. Moreover, the newer, refreshed user interface has a familiar look. Google Messages now looks very similar to the highly popular messaging app on iPhone – iMessage.
First, Google is introducing a new Photomoji feature. Users can take their photos and cut out objects from them. These cutouts then become your photomojis and can be sent as reactions to messages in the Google Messages app.
Once sent in a group chat, other users can also use your newly created photomoji. This is similar to Apple’s live stickers feature.
Next, a Voice Moods feature is also being added. With this, you can send a voice note with extra emphasis. Users get the option to select 9 different emotions such as laughing, party fever, etc. after recording the message. After sending a voice note, the recipient will hear your message along with “experiencing a visual effect,” highlighting the voice mood you selected.
A feature borrowed from iMessage, Screen Effects have also been added to Google Messages. These are fully immersive, vibrant effects that take over the entire screen of the user when sending specific messages. For example, typing out “I love you” will see the heart emoji explode on your screen with an accompanying screen effect. There are 15+ screen effect prompt words, according to Google. Can you find them all?
There are a few more features in store, so here’s a quick rundown. Custom Bubbles is a brand-new customization feature that lets you change the theme (text bubble color, background, etc). Basically, Google wants users to know “it’s no longer about blue vs green bubbles” and give them the freedom to style their conversations how they want. Reaction Effects have also been introduced, which shows an additional effect when you react to a message using emojis.
Lastly, the update also brings Animated Emojis, which lets you send live emojis with various cool effects. What are your thoughts on the new features in the Google Messages app?
Android Messaging Is Slowly But Surely Getting Better
After years of navigating rocky roads, it seems that Google is finally leveling up the game when it comes to text messaging. RCS messaging has seen a wide adoption so far. According to Google, there are now one billion monthly active users on the platform. Even Apple is adopting RCS messaging soon. Google responds to the news saying, “we are pleased that Apple also took their first step two weeks ago in announcing that they’re embracing RCS“.
When is the Google Messages update landing? Google reveals that it has already landed in the beta version of the app. The new features should reach all other users via a Play Store update later on. If you use other messaging apps, simply download the Google Messages app via the Play Store. If you want to get into the beta testing of Google Messages, and try out all these new features today, apply here.
Is the updated Google Messages good enough to compete with iMessage now? I think so, but things are far from over when we consider the green bubble vs blue bubble situation in text messaging. Do you think RCS messages on iPhones will be blue? Well, that might not actually be the case.