Google Chat
Google Chat

Google messages just got a huge upgrade to rival Apple’s iMessag

What To Know

  • You can tell if a conversation is encrypted by looking for a lock icon next to the send button.
  • You can now express your emotions by tapping and holding on a message and choosing from a range of emojis.
  • You can also use suggested actions, such as opening a link, calling a phone number, or viewing a map.
  • You can access your messages from any device by scanning a QR code or signing in with your Google account.

Google Messages, the default texting app on most Android phones, just got a major upgrade that makes it more secure and more fun to use. And it also makes it more competitive with Apple’s iMessage, the popular messaging service that iPhone users love.

What’s new with Google Messages?

Google Messages has been rolling out some new features over the past few months, but the latest update is the most significant one yet. Here are some of the highlights:

  • End-to-end encryption: This means that your messages are protected from prying eyes, even from Google itself. Only you and the person you’re texting can read them. This feature is available for one-on-one conversations with other Google Messages users who have chat features enabled. You can tell if a conversation is encrypted by looking for a lock icon next to the send button.
  • Reactions: You can now express your emotions by tapping and holding on a message and choosing from a range of emojis. You can also see how others have reacted to your messages by tapping on the reaction bubble. This feature works with both SMS and chat messages, but only chat messages will show who reacted and what emoji they used.
  • Stickers: You can spice up your conversations with stickers, which are like large emojis that you can send as separate messages. You can access stickers by tapping on the smiley face icon next to the text box. You can choose from a variety of sticker packs, or download more from the Google Play Store.
  • Smart Reply: You can save time by using suggested responses that appear above the text box. These are based on the context of the conversation and your previous messages. You can also use suggested actions, such as opening a link, calling a phone number, or viewing a map. These are based on the content of the messages you receive.
  • Message status: You can see when your messages have been delivered and read by the other person. You can also see when they are typing a reply. This feature is only available for chat messages, not SMS messages.
  • High-quality media: You can send and receive photos and videos in high resolution, without compromising on quality or size. You can also preview media before sending or downloading it. This feature is only available for chat messages, not SMS messages.

How does Google Messages compare to Apple’s iMessage?

Apple’s iMessage is one of the main reasons why many people stick with iPhones. It offers a seamless and secure messaging experience that integrates well with other Apple products and services. It also has some exclusive features that Android users can’t enjoy, such as:

  • Animoji and Memoji: These are animated emojis that mimic your facial expressions and voice. You can create your own personalized Memoji that looks like you, or choose from a range of animal and character Animoji. You can send them as stickers or as video messages.
  • Message effects: These are animations that add some flair to your messages. You can choose from different effects, such as balloons, confetti, fireworks, lasers, and more. You can also use invisible ink, which hides your message until the recipient swipes over it.
  • App Store integration: You can access various apps within iMessage, such as games, stickers, GIFs, music, payments, and more. You can also use Siri to send messages hands-free.

However, Google Messages is catching up fast with iMessage, and even surpassing it in some aspects. For instance:

  • Cross-platform compatibility: Unlike iMessage, which only works on Apple devices, Google Messages works on any Android phone or tablet, as well as on the web. You can access your messages from any device by scanning a QR code or signing in with your Google account. You can also text anyone who has a phone number, regardless of what device or app they use.
  • RCS support: RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, which is a new standard for messaging that aims to replace SMS and MMS. It enables features such as end-to-end encryption, reactions, stickers, smart reply, message status, and high-quality media. Google Messages is one of the first apps to support RCS globally, while iMessage still relies on SMS and MMS when texting non-iPhone users.
  • Google Assistant integration: You can use Google Assistant to do more with your messages, such as sending voice messages, translating texts, searching for information, booking reservations, and more.

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