You can already schedule messages in Gmail and Telegram (among others), and now Google's Messages app is joining the club. The functionality showed up for a few people as part of an a/b test at the beginning of November, and now it's starting to roll out much more widely, at least in the US. The option replaces the long-press shortcut for sending an MMS with a subject.

Since the rollout is just starting, it may still take a bit until you can schedule messages on your phone. You can check if you got in on the feature by tapping and holding the send button in a chat, which should either open the schedule dialog or the old MMS subject interface. In the former case, a new dialog pops up that lets you schedule a message — but note that it will only be sent if your phone is turned on and has a connection at the time. You can either choose from a collection of predefined times and dates or select a specific moment. The scheduled message will appear in your chat as a preview, which you can tap if you want to delete or change the text.

 

Above: Tap and hold the send button to schedule. Below: Tweak the scheduled messages by tapping it.

 

If you wonder how to add an MMS subject line with scheduled messages enabled, look for a new Show subject field entry in the three-dot overflow menu in the top right corner of a chat.

You'll still be able to add MMS subjects in the overflow menu.

Ever since Google axed Allo and started focusing on RCS, it's been putting in a lot of effort into making Messages a viable alternative to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Co. On top of features like categories and intelligent attachment suggestions, it's even gained some SMS-specific tricks like an option to automatically delete one-time passwords after 24 hours. You can download the latest release on the Play Store or over at APK Mirror, but note that not even the beta will necessarily enable schedule send for you. You'll have to wait and hope that the server-side rollout reaches you sooner rather than later.

Rolling out more widely

The article has been updated to reflect that scheduled messages are rolling out more widely.

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