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Google Messages

126

[Update: APK Download] Google Messages v5.0 syncs dark mode with the Android 10 system theme, restores emoji shortcut

Android 10 may not have brought the most substantial changes the OS has ever seen, but some of the new features have certainly been popular with users. Among those is a system-wide setting for dark mode, which allows apps to automatically switch their color palette to match. This still requires apps to actually support the mode switch, and as of the latest release of Google Messages, there is one more that has made the change.

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13

Update Notes for Gboard, YouTube, Android Auto, and more (Sept 14, 2019)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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37

[Update: Emoji button] Google Messages tests convenient microphone button for voice messages

With Allo shuttered, Google has decided to focus its messaging efforts on Messages and RCS (for the time being, at least). Since Google Messages was originally meant as a simple SMS app, the company has had to do a fair bit of work to make it a true competitor against established players like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. To reach feature parity with them, Messages is testing the addition of an instantly accessible microphone button to help you communicate via voice more easily.

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24

Messages 4.7 lets you batch-delete individual messages in chats [APK Download]

Work on the Messages app, Google's messaging platform du jour, continues. After adding RCS, Assistant, a web client, and several other enhancements, the latest Messages update isn't groundbreaking but it does bring one feature that should have been there already: multi-select for individual messages.

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83

Google Messages RCS spotted going live on Simple Mobile, Visible, and Xfinity Mobile

Google chose RCS as the next holy grail of messaging after it shut down Allo and abandoned Hangouts. However, since the Rich Communication Services depend on the mercy of carriers and their specific device support, rollout has been exorbitantly slow, which even lead Google to take the reins and push out RCS in France and the UK using the Messages app (with more markets to follow). In the US, though, that's not the case so far. But perhaps Google calling the carriers' bluff is working, as Simple Mobile, Visible, and Xfinity Mobile are starting to support the new protocol.

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36

Google Messages could soon remind you to reply to that text you forgot about

We've all received a text in the middle of a critical task we can't interrupt, but most of us often forget to reply to that message when we're finally able to. Google Messages might soon make it easier to remember you had to respond to your friend, thanks to an option right in the notification card.

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24

Google Messages v4.4 prepares reminder notifications and federated learning, expands Assistant to attachments [APK Teardown]

As we continue to wait for things like proper spam blocking and true universal RCS support for everybody, we can still look to Google Messages to bring some new features. The latest update is testing a new Assistant integration in the attachments screen, and a teardown shows that Federated Learning is growing beyond its starting point in Gboard. There's also a hint about a reminder notification that could help us deal with messages a little more efficiently.

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168

Messages starts showing the status of your RCS connection

It's been a couple of years since Messages (then known as Google Messenger) started rolling out RCS, the chat-like features that work on top of regular SMS. In the time since, RCS has spread to more operators and devices, but it's still not the universal solution Google wants it to be, and nor is it a foolproof one. To help users understand what's going on, especially when things don't work as intended, Messages now shows you the status of your RCS connection.

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26

Assistant's context-aware recommendations are live for some in Messages 4.4 [APK Download]

After Google killed Allo, users lost the ability to get Assistant suggestions directly in their conversation feeds, but the company confirmed it would bring the star feature to Messages soon. Three months later, the integration is finally live, and Google's digital helper now pops up with recommendations based on your discussions.

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