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android messages

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Android Messages v3.3 prepares GIF search and favorited stickers, search filters for attachments, and possibly gearing up to fight text spammers [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Android Messages app slowly began to circulate over the weekend. As usual, there doesn't seem to be anything visibly different in this update, but it does contain bits and pieces suggesting there's plenty of work going on in preparation for new features. Some of the Sticker and GIF-related enhancements from Allo appear to be making the transition to Messages, and we may also be getting some helpful search filters that bring attachments into view. There's also some new text that suggests Google is looking to take a more active role in combatting text spammers.

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Smart Replies in Android Messages are now rolling out to more users

Last year, Google introduced Smart Replies to Android Messages. At the time they initially landed, the rollout for the new feature was limited to what we assumed was a server-side test—perhaps tied to Project Fi. Based on recent reports, that test may be expanding, as many of our readers have reported seeing the feature spontaneously appear on their devices. 

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Android Messages 3.2 adds 2FA code copy shortcuts [APK Download]

Two-factor authentication is a great way to make your accounts more secure, but using SMS messages for the codes is a bit of a hassle: request code, switch apps, copy code, switch apps, paste code (or read and remember the code, but what is this, the 1840s?). Android Messages has a new trick that makes the process a little easier: it now parses 2FA codes from texts and presents the option to copy them with a single tap.

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Android Messages v3.2 adds link previews, prepares dark mode and notification improvements to Messages for Web [APK Teardown]

Google I/O is in full swing, and that means app updates are going to be rolling out in force. I'm sitting here in the press box before the keynote, but that won't stop the teardowns from happening. An update to the Android Messages app landed yesterday, bringing with it newly added capabilities to show link previews. Coming in from the teardown, we've got signs of a new dark mode and some helpful controls for the upcoming Messages for Web feature.

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Android Messages v3.1 continues toward Android Messages for Web, a GIF browser, and Google account linking [APK Teardown]

It's another busy Wednesday as Google rolls out an update to the Android Messages app. Version 3.1 doesn't appear to have any functional or visual changes, but there are some interesting details about things to come. The upcoming web chat interface is still in progress, but it's sporting a slightly different name than when we last discussed it. There's a GIF browser in the works for those that don't have one in their keyboard. And there may be some new features destined for Android Messages that will be able to benefit from connecting a Google account. We're still watching for any live changes, so let us know if you stumble across anything interesting!

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Android Messages v3.0 drops KitKat support, prepares notification improvements, more on purchases and enhanced chat features [APK Teardown]

Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices. There are also clues about changes to notifications about pictures and videos, enhanced chat features, and making purchases.

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Android Messages adds RCS support for dual SIM phones

A few months ago, Cody discovered in a teardown of Android Messages that the app would start supporting RCS on dual-SIM phones. Up until recently, if you had a device with a dual-SIM slot, you couldn't get the RCS features to work in Messages even if you had only one SIM inserted and it came from an operator who already implemented RCS. Now, support is finally rolling out to them.

We were first alerted to this by tipster Truls Monsen who was able to activate RCS in Android Messages 2.9.051 on a Moto G5 and G5 Plus for the first time, both unlocked devices with dual SIM support and having a SIM from Telenor.

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Consumers and businesses can now connect directly through RCS messages

Google continues to invest heavily into getting as many partners as it can to start using Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS, the new standard that aims to replace SMS and MMS, was first championed by Google back in 2015 and is powered by Google's Jibe RCS cloud platform — at least in Google's embodiment of RCS. As of today, there are already 43 carriers and manufacturers that have partnered with Google to create a more dynamic and rich messaging experience.

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Android Messages v2.9 prepares to launch Allo-like web interface, Google-enhanced chat features, and payments to businesses [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Android Messages rolling out to our phones. So far, we haven't seen any significant changes to the UI, but huge things are happening under the surface. A teardown reveals Google is getting ready to launch a web interface that would allow users to pair their phones with a computer for all of their texting needs. Google may also be planning to offer its own enhanced chat features to work with RCS messaging. And finally, it looks like we'll be able to buy things from companies right from within Android Messages. Grab the APK at the bottom of the post if you'd like to get your hands on it before everybody else.

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Huawei endorses Google Jibe RCS, will start including Android Messages on phones

Adoption of RCS, the successor to the SMS/MMS standard, has remained relatively slow among carriers and devices. Google has spearheaded the effort by building its own 'Jibe' RCS hub and integrating it into its Android Messages SMS app, making it easier for carriers to support it. Samsung opted to build its own RCS hub, but Huawei has decided to get behind Google's technology.

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