Google Messages may soon borrow a handy Gmail feature to better handle swipe actions

Google Messages Android Lifestyle
(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new setting may soon arrive on Google Messages, allowing users to edit the swipe gestures so that they archive or delete messages.
  • Users will also be able to turn off the swipe gestures if they so choose.
  • This feature is similar to one already available on the Gmail app.

A future update to Google Messages will likely allow users to further customize how the app handles messages. More specifically, it will let users change how swipe actions work in the app.

As it stands, Google Messages allows users to archive a message by swiping it left or right from the inbox. It's a pretty limited experience at the moment, but 9to5Google discovered an upcoming feature that will allow users to choose what happens when they swipe from either side.

When looking into the APK, 9to5 discovered a new "Swipe actions" setting. From the description, users can choose to archive or delete a message when swiping left or right from the inbox. Users may also turn off the swiping action.

If this looks familiar, it's because Gmail already has this feature, although it's a bit more robust. While Google Messages appears limited to three options, Gmail lets users mark a message as read or unread, move it to another folder, and snooze notifications.

While not every option from Gmail may necessarily fit with Google Messages, it would be cool to see some of the other options migrate over to the messaging app. Still, it's nice that Google is finally opening up Messages to more user customization.

This year, many users received an updated Messages UI with a sidebar menu. While it's easy enough to access the menu by hitting the icon in the top left corner, some users may prefer to just swipe from the left-most edge of the display to open it. That method could interfere with the contents of your inbox and accidentally archive a message. Fortunately, these are easy enough to restore, but this could still become a source of annoyance for users. Being able to turn off the swipe action could help improve this experience.

It's unclear when the new swipe actions will be available, but 9to5 suggests we could see them roll out on Android phones in the coming weeks or even months.

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.