February 25th, 2019
Chances are you’ve sent a handful of messages today—to your family, your friends, and maybe even a business. With Messages, we want to help you easily connect to those people and get more done with fewer taps.
Last year we brought a number of new features to Messages, including better search, quicker access to your camera, GIFs, and the ability to chat from the web. Messages also include Smart Reply, which gives you quick suggestions for replies. One out of every ten messages in English are sent using Smart Reply, and this week we’re rolling out Smart Reply in Spanish. Today we’re sharing an update on a new feature you’ll start to see soon in the app.
One tap to ask the Google Assistant for more information
Over the coming months, you’ll be able to get help from the Google Assistant within Messages for English users around the globe. The Messages app uses on-device AI to offer suggestion chips (similar to Smart Reply) relevant to your conversation, helping you quickly find and share information about three categories to start: movies, restaurants, and weather.
You can tap on the suggestion chip to learn more from your Assistant, and if you find the info is helpful, you can share the information in your conversation. If you’re chatting about a movie, you might see a suggestion chip to learn more about that film. By tapping the chip, you can ask the Assistant to pull up a card with recent movie reviews or showtimes, which you can choose to share back into your conversation with just another tap. If you don’t choose to share that information, the other person won’t see it.
Improving the standard messaging experience with RCS
To improve the standard messaging experience on Android, we’ve been working with many of our ecosystem partners, including Samsung, Huawei, America Movil, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telenor, and Vodafone to make RCS (Rich Communication Services) more widely available. Google has helped to launch RCS with partners in 24 countries, bringing enhanced features in your conversations like group chats, read receipts, and high-quality media sharing. We will continue to work to bring better messaging to every Android user, regardless of their device or carrier.
We also want to improve the messages you get from brands to be more interactive and give you the opportunity to learn and do more. For example, with Walgreens in the U.S., patients receive prescription refill reminders and notifications when orders are ready for pickup. With Citi, select U.S. credit card and retail bank customers can quickly check their balance or see a short history of recent transactions. These messaging experiences are built as part of Google’s RCS Business Messaging program with messaging partners 3CInteractive and LivePerson.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the industry to bring better messaging to Android users everywhere.