Google Messages is testing a new feature to make sure you don't miss a chat

Google Messages Rcs Chat Dark Mode
Google Messages Rcs Chat Dark Mode (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is apparently working on a new way to highlight unread items in the Messages app.
  • Unread chats will be indicated with a blue dot on the right side.
  • The experimental feature is available to a small set of users for the time being.

Unread chats in Google Messages are currently displayed in bold text to draw your attention to them each time you open the app. However, the messaging app may soon add a new way to highlight unread chats.

Google Messages is testing a new method of displaying a blue dot to the right of an unread message's timestamp, according to Android Police. The latest change was discovered by a tipter in the app's most recent beta version (v10.6.240).

If the feature sounds familiar, it's because it's not new. Google has long used this type of dot as notification badges on the homescreens of the best Android phones. This type of badge is also available on iOS devices, along with unread counts.

What's intriguing about Google Messages' new experiment is that it makes messages you haven't opened more noticeable. Although the existing bold text method does the job, it is still possible for some users to miss unread messages if there is no other indicator.

However, WhatsApp already has this feature, making Google Messages a little late to the game. But, assuming it makes its way to Messages in the future, the feature is still a welcome addition to the messaging app.

The latest discovery comes just a few months after Google was spotted experimenting with a nudges feature for Messages, a Gmail-like system that will automatically remind you to respond to important texts. Both features will be an excellent combination to ensure that you do not miss responding to your boss' message.

The new feature is available now to a limited group of users. Google is also apparently rolling it out as a server-side update.

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.

  • That's a great new feature, but I have one feature that should be added. How about getting it to work! My Google Messages has not worked in 6 weeks. Worked fine since last year and then 6 weeks ago, it stopped working. It only shows the message, "Trying to verify". My number has not changed at all, but Google Messages will no longer work. I have uninstalled Google Messages and reinstalled. I have uninstalled Carrier Services app and reinstalled. I forced stop both apps. I even turned off RCS and waited days to turn it back on, and still the message "Trying to verify" is displayed. I don't know what else to do. My carrier is AT&T and my phone is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. I called and asked AT&T, is it blocking Google from verifying my number, and I was told no. I have been with AT&T for 2 years and RCS worked before and it just stopped all of a sudden. I don't know what else to do. I love Android, but I am almost thinking of switching back to Apple. At least advertised features work on Apple. I have just been dealing with SMS/MMS because I love Android just that much. But I am upset about this dilemma, because I do not know what more to do. If anyone has any ideas, please help.
  • 1. Try and clear the cache then force close the app. Wait a few min then try to verify again
  • I definitely think Google messages have came a long way I'm very pleased with it. However they need to integrate Samsung messages with Google messages so all the Android peeps can use RCS together.
  • The blue dot is a much needed feature. It's very difficult to tell me new messages from read messages with just the bolding. The difference just isn't that apparent on my phone. The previous commentor made a good point about integrating Samsung messages with Google messages. I like the UI of Samsung better, but as of now it doesn't support RCS on Verizon and Google messages does. I also miss the ability to categorize my texts into work, friend, and family categories like I can with Samsung.