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As the default messaging app on many Android devices, Google Messages is an important tool for staying in touch with friends and family. The app has continued to work on expanding support for RCS and experimenting with handy new features. Now it looks like users will be able to find specific messages quicker than ever thanks to categories that sort messages into specific channels.
This information comes from a series of images posted to Twitter of the categories in action earlier today. The screenshots show that Google is working on making the search experience better with messages sorted based on content. Right now, it looks like the sections available include personal, transactions, OTP, offers, and a catch-all category called more. Message sorting will be controlled by a toggle in the app settings, so you can quickly disable it if you choose.
— Hani Mohamed Bioud (@HANI_4k) September 29, 2020
Just a few days ago, we learned that an upcoming version of Messages may add support for automatically deleting one-time passwords after 24 hours. Perhaps this new functionality will come alongside message categorization — if Google can tell when a message should be in the OTP category, it can take the logical next step of automatically removing it when it's no longer needed.
Google may not be great at sticking with a single communication app for the long term, but there's no question that the company introduces some pretty nifty messaging features along the way. (Remember the automatic voice transcription in Allo?) If you're curious to check out these message categories for yourself, try downloading the latest beta of Google Messages from APK Mirror — though with the way Google sends out server-side experiments, it's a toss-up whether you'll see them or not.
Updated with info on toggling the feature
This post has been updated to reflect that the message sorting will be controlled with a toggle in the app settings.
According to some users, the feature has started rolling out for SMS messages. As shown on the images below, a bar is now displayed above the message list, showing the various categories available. In addition to filtering your texts, you can also change the one it's been assigned to, and even share the message with Google to improve its categorization.
Sadly, the feature doesn't seem to be working just yet, as the tags don't respond when tapped. However, this shows Google is almost ready to roll out the feature to a large audience, and should do so in the coming days or weeks.
- XDA Developers