Google Messages Update Brings New Features, Free RCS Over In-flight Wi-Fi
Google is rolling out many new features for Messages to make the core experience more convenient. When chatting with iPhone users or in a group conversation with other Android devices, you can now respond to SMS texts using emoji reactions.
You will now be able to respond to individual messages using RCS. You can either long-press and tap the reply button or right-swipe for more direct responses. Until now, Messages allowed you to play YouTube links inline, and now you can do it with picture-in-picture. The window appears at the top of the screen by default, but you can move it around.
Google will also suggest conversations to star if a message contains addresses, phone numbers, door codes, or other information you might want to access quickly later. These suggestions also apply to generating Meet calls – for example: (“Can you talk now?”) – and creating Calendar events – for example: (“Let’s meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday”) – when appropriate. It operates privately, and no data is shared.
Next, it’ll allow you to set manual reminders to notify you of a specific text whenever you want. The recently announced Voice Message Transcription for Pixel 7 will make its way to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Pixel 6a, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Galaxy Fold 4.
Google is closely working with airlines to provide free RCS messaging over in-flight Wi-Fi. It also said the end-to-end group encryption for Messages will start rolling out later this year and continue into 2023.
While some features are already available in the beta, some like YouTube picture-in-picture and SMS reactions will “begin rolling out in the coming weeks.”
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