On Wednesday, Google finally announced a feature we told you was being tested for Google Messages since back in May. Now when Android users receive a chat message, a video, or a photo, they can respond to it in a second. A long press on the message will show a box with animated love, laughter, surprise, sadness, anger, and dislike emoji. The reactions are available on those handsets that have chat features enabled. That is just one change out of a series of five new features now available for the Google Messages app.
For example, if you have Smart Reply enabled, you can now send an animated sticker instead of using your words. The stickers will show up as you are texting so the perfect one will be ready right away for your use. The suggested stickers are currently available in English only. Why type a message when you can say it better? Holding down the microphone button inside the compose bar will now allow you to record and send a voice message instead of having to type out a text. Now let's say that you're engaging in an exchange of texts with someone and you want the conversation to continue as a video. Tapping the video call button at the top right of the app will activate Google Duo and allow you to see in real-time the person you have been chatting with.
Ever want to personalize a conversation by including a photo that you marked up just for the occasion? Google has a media editor built into Messages. Simply take a photo using the in-app camera and type text or use brushes to paint on the image. You can share these with friends and family so you need to do your best to make them witty.
Make sure that you have the Google Messages app installed if you want to use all of these new features. Some carriers have their own messaging app, so check to see whether your phone has Google Messages installed. It can be downloaded on your Android phone by clicking on this link. To make it your default messaging app, install it on your device, and go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Default apps. Make sure that Google Messages is listed as the default SMS app on your phone.