RCS messagingSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google officially rolled out bubbles with the first Android 11 Beta this week.
  • Messages will soon be updated to support bubbles within weeks, starting with beta builds.
  • At the moment, only Facebook Messenger supports the new API. The company switched from its own chatheads to Google's bubbles just prior to the launch of the beta.

Google debuted Android 11's first beta this week with a slew of features including the new "bubbles" interface for messaging apps. In essence, it's what Facebook introduced as "chatheads" a few years ago, but now officially built into the operating system as something any app can use.

Bubbles currently only work in Messenger as Facebook quickly got on board with Google's implementation, but Google will light it up in Android Messages soon.

"Bubbles for Android Messages will be enabled over the next month. If you're in the Android Messages Beta, you'll receive an update starting in the next week or two that enables the new feature," a Google rep said on reddit, "This feature is controlled on the application side, so you will be able to use the feature on 3rd party messaging apps as our partners start enabling it."

Bubbles is a feature that lives and dies by developer adoption. If only Messenger and Messages use it, it'll be unlikely to take off. If the vast majority of Messaging apps hop on the Bubble wave, then Google may well be set to change how we conceptualize messaging.

How to install the Android 11 Beta on your phone right now

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