For those that prefer to use SMS over the likes of Allo, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, Google's Android Messages app is one of the best texting apps you can get on the Play Store. Thanks to a couple of lucky users, it looks like Google is working on adding Smart Replies and a new UI for attachments to Android Messages at some point in the near future.
Starting off first with Smart Replies, this is something that was initially discovered in a teardown of the Android Messages app back in June. However, this is the first time we've actually seen the feature in use. As you can see from the image above, Smart Replies look a lot like they do on Allo and Gmail. After receiving a text message, you'll have three predetermined messages you can send that Google thinks you'll want to use based on the context of the conversation. This is honestly one of my favorite features of Allo, so it's exciting to see Smart Replies make its way to Android Messages.
In addition to this, a couple of screenshots of a new UI for adding attachments to messages has also been spotted. Right now, tapping the attachments icon in Android Messages shows a horizontal row of icons above your navigation keys for adding stickers, taking a photo, sending a picture you've already captured, recording a voice message, and sharing your location.
All of these controls are still present, but they've been moved to the left in a vertical row. Additionally, rather than just showing stickers, photos, etc. one at a time, you can now view all of these options at once. We aren't sure if this is necessarily a good change or not, but it's interesting nonetheless.
There's no word from Google as to if/when these new additions will officially be released for Android Messages, and while I'm perfectly okay with the new attachments interface never seeing the light of day, the addition of Smart Replies is quite exciting.