iMessage envy? Psh. Google’s fancy Chat function will quickly be the default messaging platform on Android telephones

If you have not began utilizing Google’s Messages app, you’ll quickly. Belief us, it is value it. 

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Google is combating again in opposition to Apple rival iMessage envy by making its personal Messages app much more enjoyable. Beginning this week, all three main US wi-fi carriers have dedicated to creating Google Messages the default messaging app for Android telephones. Verizon is the most recent service to make the announcement, following T-Cellular and AT&T, each of which made the identical announcement earlier this 12 months. 

Eliminating iMessage envy is order to fill. Apple’s iMessage actually does put common textual content messaging to disgrace because of enhanced options like Wi-Fi messaging, full-resolution pictures and movies, typing indicators so you’ll be able to see when somebody is responding, and browse receipts. And I can not fail to say the bizarre social (and typically romantic?) divide Apple encourages by giving different iMessage customers their very own colourful dialog bubble.

To deal with this, Google’s Messages app contains Google Chat — additionally recognized technically as RCS Messaging — which has a variety of the identical perks that iMessage has, together with end-to-end encrypted messaging, improved group chats, learn receipts, typing indicators and full-resolution pictures and movies. It additionally mashes collectively emojis in novel methods and places them entrance and heart to brighten up conversations.

You do not have to attend for the carriers to complete their rollouts, a few of which will not even start till 2022. You can begin utilizing Android Messages and Chat proper now. To be clear, if you happen to’re not utilizing Chat, you are lacking out. Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at what you may must do to activate the brand new function, in addition to among the extra nuanced elements of Chat.

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How you can get began with Google’s Chat function

First, you may want an Android telephone with Google’s Messages app put in and set because the default text-messaging app. The primary time you launch Messages, it’s going to ask if you wish to set it as your default app. Simply observe the prompts and don’t fret, you will not lose your dialog historical past by switching. 

After setting Messages as your default messaging app, take a few minutes and arrange Messages for Internet, which lets you ship and obtain textual content messages out of your pc

The service is globally accessible, so it should not matter which service you utilize or what nation you reside in, so long as you will have the Messages app put in and are utilizing it, you may have entry to Chat. 


Turning on Chat takes just some faucets and also you’re all set. 

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Flip Google’s Chat options on

After putting in Google’s Messages app and setting it as your default texting app, there are two other ways to allow Chat. You may both watch for a immediate within the Messages app asking if you wish to see when your mates are typing — a immediate that has proven up virtually immediately for me on the previous couple of Android telephones I’ve arrange, or you’ll be able to go into the Settings part of Messages choose Chat options and slide the swap subsequent to Allow chat options to the On place.

This similar settings web page can be the place you’ll be able to go to show your learn receipts on or off, in addition to disable the typing indicator everytime you’re typing and management what occurs if Chat fails to ship a message. 

Should you run into points with sending messages, it’s also possible to view the present standing of your telephone’s connection to the Chat service within the settings part of the app. So long as it says Related, your telephone quantity is registered with Chat and may use the service everytime you’re speaking to a contact who additionally has Chat enabled.

That is an vital facet of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to can even must have the function enabled on their gadget to make use of the brand new chat options, although after all all normal texting options nonetheless apply. 

You can take benefit sooner by getting your mates to make use of Google Messages. You may information them via the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this put up). 


See that darkish blue bubble? That tells you you are utilizing Chat. 

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Use the brand new Chat options in a dialog

After you activate chat options, the Messages app will proceed to work and look the identical, and you must maintain utilizing it the identical means you at all times have. The app is aware of whenever you’re speaking to somebody via textual content or one other contact with chat turned on. 

The best method to inform if a dialog is utilizing old style textual content messaging or the brand new chat options is to have a look at the textual content field earlier than you begin typing. If the field says “Chat message” then the dialog could have typing indicators, learn receipts, and the remainder of the options that RCS Messaging provides. One other method to shortly determine the kind of messages you are sending is by the colour of the textual content bubble. A daily textual content dialog could have a light-weight blue bubble, whereas a chat message might be a darker shade of blue. 

A enjoyable function accessible in chat is including reactions to messages. Simply long-press on a message till a bubble exhibits up, presenting you with just a few completely different choices, together with like, love, laughter or anger. 

When chat options are in use, you may see delivered and browse receipts beneath every message you have despatched, and you may ship full-resolution pictures and share information with fellow chat customers. You do not have to do something particular to ship a high-resolution picture, simply faucet on the picture icon within the app and choose a photograph or video. You will see a loading circle on the picture because it’s uploaded and despatched, however in any other case the method appears and works the identical as sending a textual content message. 

As a result of Chat works over cellular information or Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to put your telephone in airplane mode and you will nonetheless be capable of ship and obtain messages with different Chat customers utilizing solely a Wi-Fi connection. 

How to use Google Messages chat features

One-on-one dialog are encrypted, however group messages aren’t. 

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Switching telephones? Be sure you flip Chat off

Identical to Apple’s iMessage tries holding onto your telephone quantity if you happen to overlook to disable it, so does Chat. Earlier than you take away the SIM card out of your telephone, be sure that to show off Chat. Should you overlook to show it off earlier than shifting your SIM card to a brand new telephone, chat options might proceed to work for as much as eight days. Which means, you might not get messages despatched to your quantity by another person who’s utilizing chat. 

Disable Chat by opening Settings > Chat options within the Messages app and slide the swap subsequent to Allow chat options to the Off place. I recommend ready a couple of minutes after turning it off to let Google’s servers course of the request, and guarantee your quantity would not get caught in limbo. 

How you can inform if a chat is encrypted

Proper now, solely conversations between you and one other individual utilizing chat are encrypted. There is not something particular it’s essential to do to begin utilizing the one-to-one encryption function, however I’ll shed some gentle on how one can inform if it is working correctly. 

When beginning a dialog with one other Chat person, you may see a banner in your display that has a lock icon and states you are “Chatting with [name/number].” Moreover, the ship icon that appears like a paper airplane could have a small lock icon on it, and the timestamps included in your dialog can even embody a lock icon. That lock is a fast and straightforward method to see {that a} specific message or dialog is encrypted.

If Google’s Chat service nonetheless is not sufficient to maintain you on Android, switching to iPhone is simpler than you may assume. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re utterly proud of Android, we’ve a roundup of the perfect options coming to Android 12. To not be outdone, we even have a handful of our favourite options in Android 11.

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