Google Messages' custom RCS chat colors are rolling out to some beta testers

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

What you need to know

  • Google Messages is introducing custom color options for RCS chats in a phased rollout to selected beta users.
  • Custom bubbles are specific to RCS chats and do not apply to SMS threads.
  • The theme selected affects various on-screen elements, excluding the text field and the voice recorder button.

Google Messages is rolling out the ability to set custom colors for RCS chats for a few beta users.

Back in November, Google introduced color options for chat bubbles, letting users personalize their chat colors. Now, it seems like the update is gradually rolling out to beta testers. This change is visible in versions 20240228 to 20240308 of the messaging app, according to Android Police.

However, there's also a server-side component in play. It's important to note that custom bubbles are exclusive to RCS chats and won't show up in SMS threads.

To explore the fresh color choices, just tap the three-dot menu button in any Google Messages thread and pick "Change colors" from the overflow menu.

If you prefer another route, head to the overflow menu, tap on Details or Group details, and look for the "Change colors" option just below the images and videos section. A full-screen preview UI will pop up, offering nine choices that include a default color, blue, purple, green, orange, and pink, among other options.

The default theme uses Material You dynamic theming, subtly picking accent colors from your device wallpaper. Meanwhile, the other eight options go for more vibrant colors.

The theme you pick affects almost everything on the screen, from your message bubble to various elements.

Once you choose a new color for a thread, a message pops up at the bottom of the screen saying "You changed the theme." You'll also see a Change link next to it that takes you straight to the settings page, making it easy to switch back or choose another theme.

According to Android Police, if you change your chat colors in Messages but your friend doesn't have the update yet, their phone won't show the fancy colors. But it's safe to assume that the update will reach them soon too.

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.

    Wow, cool.

    How about Dual SIM RCS? How about making 'Resend failed message as SMS' actually work? HOW ABOUT decluttering the damn text entry bar?!?

    Google needs to get its priorities straight.
  • Village_Idiot
    I'm a beta user. I will check to see if I was one of the lucky ones.
  • Eric C3
    Sweet! 10+ years behind every other SMS program on Android. Way to stay cutting edge, Google.