Google Messages might finally let users edit their texts after they're sent

Google Messages RCS chatting on a Pixel 4a.
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google might be working on a new feature for its Messages app that will allow users to edit sent text messages.
  • The code for the feature was spotted in the app's latest beta version.
  • But there's been no official word yet from Google

Google has been busy lately with recent improvements to its Messaging app, including the additions of Photomoji, voice moods, screen effects, and more. Now, it looks like we may get one more to add to the list in the form of the ability to edit sent messages. 

As noted by The SpAndroid, the latest beta version of the Google Messages app — which was released in the last week of November — contains some code that is indicative of a message editing feature that is quite possibly in the works. 

The APK teardown revealed four flags appearing in the beta version that hint at the feature’s potential existence. To get into the nitty-gritty of the code, these flags include bugle.enable_edit_ui, bugle.load_edit_history, bugle.process_outgoing_edits and bugle.process_incoming_edits.

Now, in terms of what the code tells us, the first flag appears to refer to the UI for the messaging editing feature, while the second flag seems to describe the capability to bring up a history of edits. Finally, the third and fourth flags both appear to deal with processing edits for message senders and recipients.

The ability to edit sent text messages might be one of the most requested features of messaging platforms. Alternative messaging apps like Telegram, for instance, have an editing feature already in place. This year, WhatsApp introduced a message-editing feature of its own, so it looks like Google is playing catch-up on this front.

The flurry of new features that have permeated Google Messages, WhatsApp, and other texting apps is hardly a surprise, as the adoption of RCS means increased competition between messaging platforms. But with Apple reportedly bringing RCS support to iOS in 2024, this will hopefully lead to better compatibility between platforms so that they can focus more on development. 

In the meantime, the code in the latest beta version of Google Messages sits behind flags and can’t be enabled. And with no official word yet from Google, there’s no indication of when the tech giant might release the feature — or if it will even see the light of day.