I don't know about you, but I prefer texting over calling businesses — who likes listening to some crappy hold music for minutes on end?! Google probably knows this and is happy to bundle a messaging feature into yet another one of its apps. The Google Phone app now lets you text businesses.
Getting started is as simple as dialing a business' number. If the company you're about to contact is a verified business and able to accept messages, you should see a blue Chat icon in the bottom left that will allow you to start texting.
A splash screen should advertise the feature the first time you come across it.
While I wouldn't mind taking an extensive dig at Google baking messaging into yet another app, I think this implementation is rather useful because it could save you from spending minutes or even hours on hold. It could even spare you from calling a business when you tap its number on a Google Maps or Search result, since doing that just inputs the number into the Phone dialer, leaving call initiation to you.
The feature seems to be rolling out with the latest Google Phone beta update. You can grab the APK if you're not a part of the beta program — availability might be limited by region.
Just saw this "Chat" button for the first time in the Google Phone app, with a first-time callout pointing out this feature.
I know business messaging has been a thing for a while, but is it new in the Phone app?
Anyone else seen this before? pic.twitter.com/CSyifnNkbX
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) June 19, 2021