Google Messages looks set to give RCS chats a sweet upgrade

Google Messages app on the Galaxy S22 Ultra
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new direct reply feature has been spotted in Google Messages.
  • Users can hold or swipe a message to respond to an individual message. Tapping the preview would send users to the original text.
  • The feature doesn't appear to be widely available, although some users have already received it on their devices.

Google Messages is an excellent app for Android users, particularly due to RCS, which adds some nice functionality when texting between Android users. However, the app isn't perfect, and there are several features we'd like to see come to Google Message. Fortunately, Google isn't done improving the app, and it looks like a handy feature is being prepped that could help make conversations run a little smoother.

In an APK teardown by 9to5Google, it was discovered that Google is apparently working on adding the ability to directly reply to individual messages. This would work how it does in other messaging apps, where long-pressing a message received from another RCS user would present a new icon with the option to respond directly to that message. The option can also be triggered by swiping to the side with the option to cancel.

The feature sends the response underneath the quoted text and presents it as such to the recipient. Tapping on the preview sends the user to the original text in case you need additional context.

As noted by 9to5, this feature seems pretty far in development, as replies also appear in the Google Messages web app (they even show it working on the web). Some users on Reddit have even started seeing the feature appear on their devices, with one notably stating that they're not using the beta version of Google Messages, suggesting a rollout may be underway.

While it's not a novel feature (heck, even iMessage can do it), it brings Google Messages one step closer to a more fully-featured messaging app. It's also one of the features I wanted to see come to Google Messages, so I'm pretty excited to see it seemingly making its way to users.

That said, no announcement has been made about such a feature being made available, so there's likely still some time before a full rollout.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.