Google tests new notification dots inside the Google Messages app
Android's notification dots allow users to see which of their apps has a notification that they have yet to open. With iOS, the number of unread notifications is placed inside the dots. A tipster named Nick Cipriani has revealed to AndroidPolice how Google is looking to use notification dots inside Google Messages to highlight the messages that the user has yet to open.
In the latest beta version of Google Messages (version 10.6.240), a bright blue dot can be seen to the right of the time when a message has not been opened. At the same time, the unread message is in bold type similar to how the subject line of unread emails appears in bold print in the Gmail app. The update is apparently being sent out via server-side update so it will be up to you to see if you notice this change when you open the Google Messages app.
A beta update to the Google Messages App for Android adds notification dots to unread messages inside the app
It isn't clear when or even if this will roll out to all Android users. It might not be a very important new feature since you will still see the notification dot on the home page next to the Google Messages icon alerting you to at least one unread message. That alone should give you the motivation to open the app whether or not you know how many messages are unread.
Sometimes if the number of unread notifications in an iOS app is too large, you could get overwhelmed with the number of notifications to read and you might decide to skip opening that app completely. Google is known for running through a number of tests which means that not everyone will end up making it to a future build of Android.