Google prepares 'Bard in Messages' as its latest beta spills some beans

Google Messages RCS Chat features on a Pixel 6
(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • An APK dive into the latest Messages beta shows Google plans to implement "Bard in Messages" with options to share, offer feedback, and more.
  • Users can draft messages, discover recipes based on provided ingredients, and receive book suggestions based on genre.
  • Google's splash message for Bard in the beta states chats with the AI are "not end-to-end encrypted," meaning users should refrain from submitting sensitive information.

A code deep dive seemingly shows Google is planning on implementing its AI chatbot, Bard, into Messages.

Detailed by 9to5Google, users can soon enable Bard from the "New Conversations" screen in Messages, as seen in the latest beta. Its integration codename, "Penpal," appears right beneath the "create group" option and above a user's contacts list.

Bard's two-starred logo is apparent, alongside a description that reads, "Understand, create, or explore something new."

Tapping Bard's label initiates a chat with the AI like you'd do with a typical contact. Feature-wise, Bard in Messages can identify images, offer book suggestions by genre, and draft messages. The AI is also said to offer recipes based on a list of ingredients you've provided. One such example prompt reads, "write a text message I can send to my boss calling in sick today. It’s a big team presentation day, so I’m sad to let everyone down. 3 sentences or fewer."

Much like how Bard's sparkly logo appears beside responses on the web, users will see something similar in Messages. A small star will be present beside the timestamp of when the response was given. Additionally, users can thumb up or thumb down a response by long-pressing the AI's response.

An option to forward, share, and star Bard's answers was seen in the APK deep dive, as well.

Moreover, initiating a chat with Bard will display a rather lengthy description explaining its privacy notice and information about user security. Notably, chats with Bard "are not end-to-end encrypted." Google states this is done as a means to further train the machine-learning software within Bard.

The company adds users are advised not to "enter anything you wouldn’t want a reviewer to see or Google to use." Information that Google reviews is said to be "disconnected" from your account, however, it will retain that data for up to three years.

From the APK dive, it's unclear how long users will have to wait for this integration, but it's clearly on the way.

Also, this seems to be the only way users will get their hands on a "Bard app for Android." During I/O 2023, Google detailed a few different areas to integrate Bard. One such way was bringing the chatbot to more languages and countries while also bringing the power of Lens into it. However, what was notably missing was a Bard app.

Google stated it will remain "committed to rolling out Bard as an experiment" and that a web-based experience was best as it focused on improving it. Instead of releasing a standalone app, much like OpenAI did with the ChatGPT app, Google is more focused on plugging Bard into apps users utilize daily — like Messages.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.