For a long time, iMessage has trailed its Android messaging competitors. Even Google’s own texting solution, Google Messages, was no match for Apple’s superb (though iPhone-only) implementation. Google Messages now has a lot more to offer, due to a slew of new tricks under its sleeve.
Of course, Android users already have a plethora of messaging apps at their disposal, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. So, what distinguishes Google Messages? Can it compete in the Android market and even dethrone Apple’s own iMessage as the finest texting software available? Everything you need to know is right here.
What exactly is Google Messages and how does it function?
Google Messages is Google’s Android and Wear OS texting software. It is Google’s counterpart to Apple’s iMessage, and it claims to combine classic SMS texting with RCS and instant messaging capability.
Google Messages isn’t new: it’s been on Android phones since 2014, but it’s gotten a lot more functionality in the last few years. This has allowed it to catch up with the competition while also introducing a few of its own distinguishing features. Google embraced RCS (Rich Communication Services) in recent years, allowing the app to carry not only longer messages, but also far higher quality images and videos.
In addition, Google added end-to-end encryption to the app and allowed users to reply to messages in threads and react to them with emojis and other reactions, both of which are common and popular features in other messaging apps. You can also initiate group chats and even open Messages for Web to text from other devices and expect all of the other chat capabilities you’re used to seeing in other apps.
What are the advantages of using Google Messages?
When compared to competing options, Google Messages has some advantages. For starters, it comes preinstalled on your Android phone, making it simple to pick up immediately after setting up your device. It’s also an excellent spot to keep track of all your discussions, as it displays SMS, MMS, and network-based RCS messaging.
Google Messages can switch between RCS and regular SMS texting with ease. If you enable the chat capabilities, RCS is the default configuration, which means you won’t use up any SMS allotment on your cell plan. Instead, RCS works more like WhatsApp and iMessage, sending messages over Wi-Fi or mobile data. If that fails, Google Messages will detect a regular SMS.
Google Messages has additional advantages. One example is message scheduling. If you wish to send something later, you can prepare it ahead of time and schedule it to be sent later. You can also enable “nudges,” which are small reminders to send a birthday text or answer to a text you haven’t opened in a while. Transcribing audio messages is also an option, so you can see what they say without having to listen to them all.
But the biggest feature of Google Messages is the Google Ecosystem itself. Because of the integration with Google apps, you can simply set calendar reminders from the app, as well as transmit YouTube movies and Google Photos. It’s a quick and easy way to share all of your Google-related stuff.
Google Messages: How to Use It
We’ll go over all of the important choices in Google Messages below. When enabled, it transforms from a dull SMS app to a feature-rich messaging software worthy of competing with iMessage.
To begin, open Google Messages and select the profile image button in the upper right corner. Navigate to Messages settings from the pop-up window that appears.
2. Turn on chat features
To begin, go to the RCS menu and enable the chat option. That’s what distinguishes Google Messages from other SMS apps: it allows your texts to be delivered over the network and provides all of the chat functionality (such as reactions and thread replies) that you’d expect from any other messaging software.
To do so, go to the Settings menu, select RCS conversations, and then toggle the Turn on RCS chats option.
3. Turn on Google Photos sharing
If you frequently email images and want them to arrive in the best possible quality without wasting a lot of data, you should enable Google images link sharing. Instead of a low-quality, grainy photo, the software will transmit a link to your Google Photos share when sending SMS/MMS.
To do so, go to Settings > Google Photos and toggle the Always transmit videos via link in text box.
4. Turn on Bubbles
Bubbles are a delightful little feature that allows open chats to show as small bubbles above your other apps. If you want to enable them for all of your Google Messages or just a few, go to the Bubbles menu and select one of the options.
5. Turn on Voice message transcription
Voice message transcription is useful in crowded areas or on public transportation when you don’t want to use headphones but still need to examine that voice note someone sent you.
You can have it transcribed in Google Messages by enabling the feature in the Voice message transcription menu by toggling Show transcripts of voice messages ON.
6. Add and personalise suggestions
The Suggestions menu is the next thing to look at. You can switch on or off your smart answers and suggested actions, which advise what you can swiftly write back based on the contents of the message, or let you to add dates to your calendar or photographs to your messages.
Furthermore, here is the location where Nudges can be found. These are reminders that help you keep track of all the unanswered texts and birthdays of your pals.
7. Customise swipe actions
In Google Messages, you can also customize what swiping left or right on your messages performs. To do so, go to Swipe actions in Settings and tap on Customise next to either Swipe right or Swipe left options.