More evidence surfaces showing Google Messages' edit feature in action

Google Messages left-panel menu
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Message editing is all but confirmed to be coming to Google Messages following the latest leak. 
  • Android expert AssembleDebug managed to get message editing working in Google Messaging after flipping a few developer flags.
  • Google still has not confirmed that message editing will come to Google Message, and a release date is unclear.

Google Messages has been steadily gaining features of late, but a notable one missing is message editing. That's rumored to be changing sometime soon, as references to message editing have been spotted in Google Messages as far back as early December. However, it's all but confirmed to be coming now.

Android expert @AssembleDebug on X was able to get message editing up and running in Google Messages as of Thursday. After flipping a few flags in the most recent Google Messages beta, the feature became available. This confirms Google has actively worked on prepping message editing in Google Messages for release since the first leak. 

Assemble Debug used the following beta software version: messages.android_20240213_01_RC00.phone.openbeta_dynamic

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After a message has been sent in Google Messages, users will have 30 minutes to edit it. The message history will appear, containing the full list of edits. To edit a message, users need only to long press a message and tap the new pencil icon in the list of options that appear. Unsurprisingly, you can only edit RCS messages.

Once you tap the pencil icon, the standard text entry box becomes a message editing box. After making the desired edits, you can save the changes by tapping the send button or tapping enter. 

Like other instances of message editing in messaging services, both Google Messages users must be updated for the feature to work properly. If only the editor has an updated version of Google Messages, the recipient will receive the edited message as a separate RCS chat. 

The previously-reported flags in Google Messages related to message editing are these flags include bugle.enable_edit_uibugle.load_edit_historybugle.process_outgoing_edits and bugle.process_incoming_edits. Presumably, flipping these flags allowed AssembleDebug to edit messages in the Google Messages beta. 

There are a handful of messaging services that already support message editings, such as iMessage, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Google is lagging behind without support for message editing in Google Messages, but that looks to be changing soon.

However, Google has still not publicly confirmed the change. We don't have any news on a potential rollout date besides the fact that the feature is obviously functional as of now. 

Brady Snyder
Contributor

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.