Google Messages might let you disable its crazy animations soon

Google Messages blue logo
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Messages introduced Screen Effects in February, adding over 15 visual effects triggered by specific keywords in messages.
  • An option to disable these animations seems to have surfaced in the latest version of the Messages app with a toggle in the settings called "Show expressive animations".
  • Previously, the only way to disable animations in Google Messages was to do it for all apps on the device.

If you're tired of the flashy new animations in Google Messages, the platform might be adding a way to turn them off soon.

In February, Google Messages introduced Screen Effects to more users globally. It was a neat little feature that added over 15 visual effects to your messages, triggered by certain keywords. So, if you texted "I Love You" to your loved one, you might see a big heart pop up on your screen.

However, as noted by 9to5Google, many users were asking for a way to turn off these animations. Well, it looks like their wish might have been granted with the latest version of the Messages app (v20240422_01_RC00).

In the app's settings, there's a toggle called "Show expressive animations" that controls both Reaction and Screen Effects. Until now, the only option to disable animations in Google Messages was to do it for all apps on your device, which could be a hassle if you only wanted to disable them in Messages.

For some users, it's essential to turn off animations, specifically in Messages. Given how often those reactions and screen effects pop up and take over your screen when you're typing certain phrases or using specific emojis, it can get pretty distracting.

The big problem with these animations is that the words triggering them are everyday language we use a lot. Who wants a bunch of colorful thumbs-up fingers popping up every time you say or get a "Sounds Good" message? It's a bit too much.

Google might have gone a bit overboard with those animations, though the new way to opt out should be welcome news for users who find the current animations too distracting or just not their thing. Having more control over the app's user experience is always a welcome change.

That said, this feature is still a work in progress, so it might take a while before it's available to everyone. Also, we're not sure if this toggle will also impact animated emojis, which are a different feature altogether.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • spARTacus
    AC News said:
    Google Messages might let you ditch its flashy animations and message effects soon....

    I've never heard of those animations. Sure glad they haven't yet rolled out to the Google Messages App version I'm running, and I sure hope there is indeed a way to turn them off if it ever comes to me (if not, pretty sure I'll be ditching Google Messages).
  • Stanley Kubrick
    Exactly! I have no issue with flashy new long as I have the choice to use it or not. I own my phone outright and I will always try to make it do what I want...not what some programmer wants!