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Here are some features that I would love to see come to Google Messages

Google Mesages on a Pixel 3
Google Mesages on a Pixel 3 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

When it comes to the best text messaging apps, I actually really love Google Messages. Thanks to Google pushing RCS on Android, the app has started coming into its own as a viable iMessage alternative for Android users. You've got typing indicators, high-quality media files, reactions, and more recently, end-to-end encryption. When you enable RCS Chat features in Google Messages, it does feel like a huge step up from regular SMS.

That said, I can't help but feel like some things are missing. Google continues to bring new features to improve the experience, but I can't help but want more, especially compared to the bevy of other messaging apps I use to communicate with my peers. These are some of the features that I've seen on these other apps that I would love for Google to adopt in Messages.

App integration

iMessage Apps

Source: Apple (Image credit: Source: Apple)

One of the most valuable aspects of iMessage is its app integration. It lets you do things like making payments, sharing music, and much more without leaving the app. Something like this would be incredibly helpful for Google Messages.

Google already has Duo integration for video calls and built-in Assistant features. Adding Google Pay, YouTube Music, and other Google apps to the attachments menu would greatly improve the app's functionality. And Google could even extend this to third-party applications for even more possibilities.

An oldie but goodie

Google Allo Shout

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Google Allo may be dead, but it wasn't without its merits. In my opinion, of its coolest features was the ability to shout or whisper messages by altering their size. You would slide the send button down to make the font and text bubble smaller or slide it up to enlargen them. It was a great way to better express meaning in text outside the use of emojis and reactions, and it's a shame it hasn't migrated to Google Messages since the death of Allo.

More fun

Along with shouts and whispers, there are other ways to add more expression to Google Messages. Other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and more feature individual chat themes and animations, and I would love to see these make it to Google Messages. Emoji Kitchen is one thing (and another feature that Google should include), but animated emoji would make things much more fun and interesting. And Google can expand that to full-screen animations, like balloons or hearts that fill up the display when using associated emoji.

And speaking of emoji, it would be nice to get more reactions for messages, or at least the option to search for an extra one, like in Facebook Messenger.

More stability

RCS settings in Google Messages

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

RCS is getting better, but it can still be a bit of a mess. Without warning, it can stop working, lose connection, or just fail to register users altogether, and messages can get left in RCS limbo. We've recently covered a series of connection issues that users have been having with RCS, and gaining new features like those listed above won't really matter if users can't use them.

Wishful thinking: iMessage

I mean, this is just a pipe dream at this point, but having some sort of iMessage integration would be awesome. Or, alternatively, putting RCS in iMessage. With U.S. carriers on board for making Google Messages the default on the best Android devices, iPhones are the last major hurdle to phase out the aging SMS.

Google seems open to supporting iMessage and more recently has extended an invitation for Apple to adopt RCS in iMessage. It's not likely to happen, but it would make the texting experience much better between the two platforms, especially for group chats.

Other features

There are a couple of other (more likely) features I'd love to see in Google Messages. For instance, being able to reply to an individual message is always handy and can help manage the flow of a conversation better. It would also be cool to have some type of status indicator for contacts to see which ones have RCS turned on and are online. Samsung Messages has this, and it's better than having to go into a message to check whether or not the text field shows "Chat."

I'm sure there are more features that Google can add down the road, but these are a few that I would like to see. More than anything, I would just like more customization options and ways to make the messaging experience a bit more versatile and fun without turning it into a cluttered mess of features like what we see with Telegram.

For our readers that use Google Messages, what features would you like to see added to the app?

Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

24 Comments
  • I'd like to see a pop up notification with quick reply which apps such as Handcent Next SMS have
  • It already has that.
  • I would like to be able to Pin contacts, or groups to the top, like you can with Samsung messages. And allowing a Quick Reply within the notification window would be great too.
  • I feel like both of these things are possible.
  • You can already pin to the top. I use this feature currently.
  • Why not share how? Then the OP will be able to do it too!
  • Long press the conversation, select the the pin at the top of the display. Replying in the notification shade is kinda right there, plain as day in the notification. Hard to miss.
  • Already has that ability.
  • Just enabling chat features at all would be great. Haven't made it past 'verifying number' stage yet.😒
  • I would like to see two features not mentioned. 1. The ability to mark a message I unread after reading it.
    2. The ability to swipe to delete.
  • Yes and yes. I miss the unread feature from my BlackBerry.
  • Please no full screen animations!
  • The fact that Google Messages often gets stuck and is unable to send messages is a deal breaker for me. I could give a **** less that there are typing indicators and new stickers or what not. Those are for childish people. When I get a text message I want the message - in text - not a line of emojis and stickers. When i see that I immediately think, how immature. But another deal breaker for me is tying your phone number to your account. I have a cell phone. It has a number. I NEVER use it! Instead I use my Google Voice number. If I ever get a call on my actual cell phone number I know it's spam! Everybody knows me by my Google Voice number so when I use Messages to sent a text I get the "Who dis?" response back. Plus now I get move robocalls to my cell phone number. And that you have to pair and leave your phone on line to use Messages for Web on a computer with a real keyboard is asinine. Let alone Messages for web seems to have broken on the Brave browser. Nope, still not ready for prime time.
  • I haven't experienced your issues. Also, I don't think liking typing indications makes me childish. Kind of a silly assertion.
  • how about a 'mark as unread' button like Gmail has? I know you can snooze but that's not the same. i can't count the number of times i get some long-winded text from someone that i need some time to think about or need to come back to, but then i forget about it because it's not bolded and the notification is gone. marking a text as unread would be seriously helpful and seems like it'd be very easy to implement.
  • I pin a conversation to the top when in that situation. And you can "star" individual messages within a conversation to go back to them. My guess is that messing with "read/unread" can get murky since the other person has presumably seen that you already "read" the message.
  • I would love to see reactions for messages added. Also the features that Facebook Messenger has, I would love to see some of those features added. Facebook Messenger has the best features, hands down, if it wasn't for security reasons, Facebook Messenger would be my default message app...
  • Long press on the message for reactions, provided you're using RCS.
  • I'd love to be able to delete or save specific messages like Samsung messages does. I don't necessarily want/need to save every message from a particular sender, but there are certain messages I'd like to keep.
  • You can long press the particular message to delete it. And to 'save', you can 'star' those messages or just delete the ones you don't want to see in that conversation any longer.
  • jope28, thanks for the reply. What you described isn't the same as what Samsung Messages allows you to do. In Samsung Messages case, you can "star" or "lock" the message you want to keep. You can then delete the others en masse. From what I've observed when trying to replicate this in Google Messages, there's no way to delete messages en masse unless you choose to delete the conversation. That in turn deletes even the starred messages. The workaround is to manually each text you don't want to keep. Depending on the number of messages in the thread that can be time consuming.
  • On Samsung Messages, long press a message up pops useful options. Having them in Google Messages would help me switch to them; at present I am remaining with Samsung Messages.
  • I won't switch from Samsung messages to Google messages unless Google adds the ability to put contacts into categories like friends, work, family etc. It's a great way to organize your feed.
  • I want the ability to mute specific threads for a given time or permanently. Sometimes group chats blow up in the middle of the night or during the day when I'm in a meeting. I don't want to permanently mute my entire phone or Messaging app due to one group chat that I should be able to silence for like an hour.