Google Messages really has seen a steady stream of improvements over the years to become a solid text messaging app on Android. Its feature set continues to grow with the latest batch of new-ness bringing those iMessage reactions we talked about a few weeks ago, as well as Google Photos video sharing, and more.
Here’s the list of everything new coming to Google Messages on your phone:
- iMessage reactions: Again, this started rolling out pretty widely back in January, but Google has confirmed that Messages lets you see reactions from iPhone users that display like emoji. You can see exactly how these look at this post, but the idea is that instead of getting those weird text message reactions, they’ll now show as emoji on your messages to at least make you feel a little closer to the conversation.
- Google Photos video sharing: Since Google Messages is still reliant on old SMS and MMS texting, sharing videos and photos can be rough with it downsizing files and quality. Google figured out a way to bake in Google Photos to the media sharing experience, so now when you go to share a video that might be sent via old school texting, you can choose to share it via Google Photos. That way, you’ll easily send a link to a good quality version of the video. Photos sharing is on the way too.
- Organized inbox: Google is now going to let you organize your Messages inbox with Personal and Business tabs, plus they are bringing a feature to the US that lets Messages automatically delete those 1-time password messages after 24 hours.
- Message nudging: If you happen to be terrible at checking your messages or are bad about replying to someone, Messages can now nudge you to follow-up, similar to how Gmail’s nudging works.
- Birthday reminders: If you save birthdays for people with their contact info, Messages can remind you to wish them a happy birthday. That reminder will even jump you into a conversation with them to make that message process easier.
- Emoji Kitchen keeps growing: The Emoji Kitchen within Gboard is growing once again, now with over 2,000 emoji mashups that are available as stickers in your conversations. More on the Emoji Kitchen here.
Google says that all of these new Messages features will rollout over the “coming weeks.” To stay up-to-date, be sure to check for updates at that link below. If you really want stuff early, the Messages beta program (also at that link below) is a good thing to sign-up for.