Messages allows users to send SMS messages to iOS users and those using a non-RCS Android-flavored messaging app. When using it to communicate with other Android phones running Google Messages, you are connecting via Rich Communication Services (RCS). Instead of using a cellular connection, RCS works with data allowing it to be used via Wi-Fi.
RCS also allows the user to type up to 8,000 characters instead of only 160. It allows for the use of read receipts, the sharing of larger video files, end-to-end encryption on one-to-one messages, and more. No more blue bubble jealousy for Android users who have blue bubbles of their own when engaged in RCS-to-RCS messaging.
The old UI at left with the new UI at center and right
As noted by 9to5Google
, the Google Messages app is getting a redesign of the attachments menu that shows you everything you can send on a message besides text. When viewing a conversation, tap on the "+" button to open a grid that expands when you scroll up. The grid shows circular buttons (in color!) that deliver GIFs, Stickers, Files, Location, Contacts, Schedule Send, Weather, Restaurants, and Movies.
The Google Messages attachment redesign has been spotted only on devices running the Android 12 beta. With Android 12 expected to drop sometime this month, it won't be long until those using Google Messages get to experience the new UI.