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Google Messages could soon get a revamped tablet UI and handy new feature

Google Messages Hero
Google Messages Hero (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Messages may be preparing a new tablet experience.
  • The updated UI will keep a list of conversations on one side and the current message thread on another side.
  • Google Messages will also bring new cross-device messaging capabilities.

Google has been hard at work making Google Messages as useful as possible as a messaging app. The latest update hints at upcoming features that will arrive for the application, mostly aimed at tablets.

XDA-Developers dove into the latest version of Google Messages and discovered a string that will enable a split-screen view. This will keep the list of message threads on the left side of the display while displaying the current message on the right side. This should help make it easier to navigate the app when using any of the best Android tablets, letting users easily jump between threads. It's not unlike how iMessage functions on Apple tablets like the iPad Pro (2020).

Source: XDA-Developers

Another feature arriving on the app is already available on Samsung-branded tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. This feature allows tablets to send texts or make calls through a paired phone. This could be particularly useful for tablets with their own cellular number or connection, as it will allow users to send messages from their tablets while using the same number as their phone, so long as it's paired.

The feature is dubbed Call and Message Continuity. It appears Google Messages may bring this feature to more Android devices for a more consistent experience across the platform.

Given that these features were discovered in the latest version of Google Messages, it could be only a matter of time before they arrive on more tablets and devices.

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.

5 Comments
  • Unfortunately, if you have an AT&T or Verizon Samsung phone (Not Unlocked), then you cannot use the Call and Message Continuity. I discovered that the hard way. My Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will not pair with my Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. Samsung told me that I should have bought an unlocked phone. T-Mobile is the only carrier it will work with, but my phone is an AT&T device.
  • Yeah this is a PITA. All because they want you to add a line. I've been putting up with this crap on AT&T for a while but I'm getting tired of not being able to use the features of my devices.
  • I'm confused. I've had my Messages screen look like that for a long time on my Samsung tablets.
  • You may have the version of Google Messages that is specially tailored for Samsung devices already
  • On a slightly related note, I've been having trouble getting chat features working on my Pixel 5. The status sits forever on "Trying to verify". Tried clearing data for both Messages and Carrier Services to no avail. Also tried uninstalling Carrier Services updates which did change the status to "Setting up" but it would just sit on that forever instead. I've also tried a simple reboot (thanks to the May security update) but that didn't help either.