Google introduces new features and app icon for Messages app

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Google has announced new features for the Messages app for Android. The icon will be refreshed and soon it will be possible to convert audio messages into text, watch YouTube videos in the app and put appointments directly in the Calendar app.

Google gives in a blog post more details on all the new features coming to the Messages app in a few weeks. For example, the feature to convert audio messages to text only comes to Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 7, 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Fold 4 devices. The Messages app uses machine learning to convert audio to text.

Another new feature is the ability to reply to an individual message in a group conversation when using RCS. Android users can also respond to text messages from iPhone users with an emoji. Since the beginning of this year, the Messages app has been showing emoji reactions from iOS users. If a message sends a link to a YouTube video, recipients can view that video directly in the Messages app.

The Android maker is also adding reminders and appointment support to the app. This allows users to create a reminder or an appointment based on a message they have received via the app. For example, the Messages app can remind users that it’s someone’s birthday if they’ve added someone’s birthday to their contacts. Users can also set appointments in the Calendar app.

Messages containing potentially important content such as address information, codes or phone number will automatically be marked with a star. In this way, Google wants to make it easier to find this information. If a message suggests a phone call, the Messages app will from now on also automatically display a Google Meet icon next to this message so that users can immediately make (video) calls.

In some countries, it will also be possible to chat with companies via the Messages app. It is not clear in which countries this function will be active. Google is also adding support for the Pixel Watch. Users of this smartwatch will be able to send messages via Google Assistant with the Messages app installed on their clock.

Finally, Google reports a visual update of the icons for the Messages app, the Phone app and the Contacts app. Each app icon would also adapt to the Material You color schemes. The features will be rolled out in the coming weeks. It’s not clear if all features will be available in all parts of the world right away.

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