In the world of smartphones, where instant communication has become the norm, text messaging is an integral part of our daily lives. Google’s “Messages” app, which comes as the default on many Android devices, offers a wealth of features that go beyond the basic function of texting. In this article, we will explore ten Google Messages features that you should be using to enhance your text messaging experience and make your communication more efficient.
Read and Send Text Messages From the Web
One of the standout features of Google Messages is “Messages for Web.” This feature allows you to use the app from a web browser on your computer. Unlike traditional SMS, which is confined to your mobile device, “Messages for Web” lets you send and receive text messages from the convenience of your desktop. It’s a seamless and built-in solution that doesn’t require third-party apps or workarounds. To get started, simply go to “Device Pairing” in the Messages app on your phone,
scan the QR code displayed at messages.google.com/web on your PC, and you’re ready to go.
Automatically Delete OTPs (One-Time Passwords)
One-Time Passwords (OTPs) are a common type of text message, often used for two-factor authentication. The Messages app offers a handy feature to automatically clear out OTPs after 24 hours. To enable this, go to Messages Settings and navigate to “Message Organization.” You’ll find the option to “Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hours.” While it may not work flawlessly in all cases, it can help keep your inbox clutter-free and more organized.
Schedule Text Messages to Send Later
We all have moments when we need to send a message at a specific time, whether it’s a birthday wish or a reminder. The Messages app simplifies this with its scheduling feature. To schedule a text, compose your message as usual and then tap and hold the send button. This action will open a menu with scheduling options, allowing you to set the desired time for the message to be sent. This feature ensures you never miss an important message.
Add Reactions to a Text Message
Text message reactions are not limited to iMessage users. The Messages app lets you express your emotions by long-pressing a message and sending a quick reaction. You’ll find a selection of suggested emoji, but the unique feature is that you can also add any emoji of your choice. Whether you’re using the Messages app with or without RCS (Rich Communication Services), your reaction will be visible to other users, making conversations more engaging.
Star Your Favorite Text Messages
Some text messages are memorable, funny, or contain essential information. To easily find and access such messages, the Messages app offers a “Star” feature. Similar to how you can star emails in Gmail, you can “star” text messages for quick reference. These starred messages are conveniently categorized in the “Starred” section, accessible by tapping the search button at the top of the app. The best part is that other users won’t be notified when you star a message.
Pin Conversations to the Top
With a growing list of conversations, it’s easy to lose track of important chats. The Messages app provides a solution by allowing you to pin up to five conversations to the top of your list. To pin a conversation, simply long-press it and tap the pin icon in the top bar. Unpinning is just as easy—repeat the process and tap the pin icon again. Pinning conversations ensures that your most important chats are always within easy reach.
Hear Text Messages Read Out Loud
While this feature is not exclusive to the Messages app, it integrates seamlessly with it. Google Assistant can read text messages aloud upon your command. To have your messages read, simply say, “Read my messages.” No additional setup is required, and it works with any text messaging app. However, for Google Assistant to read a message, it must still be in the notification shade. After hearing the message, you can even respond using voice commands.
Share Your Location in a Text Message
The hassle of providing location information and estimated arrival times can be eliminated thanks to the built-in Google Maps feature in the Messages app. To share your location with a contact, tap the plus button in the text box during a conversation and select “Location.” This opens a map with options, and when you tap “Send,” a Google Maps link is sent to your friend, making meeting up and sharing locations a breeze.
Block Text Messages
Whether it’s spam or unwanted messages from someone you know, unwanted text messages can be a nuisance. Fortunately, the Messages app simplifies the process of blocking text messages. Open the conversation with the phone number you want to block, go to “Details” in the menu, and choose “Block & Report Spam.” You can also opt to report the number as spam, if applicable. This feature provides an effective way to maintain a clutter-free inbox.
Enable RCS Features
Rich Communication Services (RCS) represents the future of text messaging, offering a more interactive and feature-rich experience compared to traditional SMS. Most Android devices now support RCS, and the Messages app allows you to enable these features easily. In the Messages Settings, look for “RCS Chats.” If you see this option, your device is ready for RCS. Activate it by selecting “Turn on RCS chats” and configuring additional settings as needed.
To distinguish between RCS and SMS conversations, pay attention to the text box label, which will indicate whether you’re using “RCS message” or “text message” (SMS).
In conclusion, Google’s Messages app offers a plethora of features that go beyond standard text messaging. From sending and receiving messages from your computer to scheduling messages and utilizing rich reactions, the app is a versatile communication tool. It also simplifies tasks like sharing your location and blocking unwanted messages. Embrace the future of text messaging with RCS features, making your conversations more interactive and engaging. With these ten features, you can unlock the full potential of the Messages app and enhance your text messaging experience.