Google has updated its default Messenger app (not to be confused with the Facebook-made app by the same name) with a feature Android users have been awaiting for a very long time. Now, with version 1.3 of its Messenger app, Google has now introduced an official means of quick replying to text messages…

Once you’ve installed the update, you should see a notification when receiving messages like you always have. But now, you should notice that there’s an option to “Reply” at the bottom of the notification (or after you swipe down if you’re on the lock screen). Tapping this button takes you to a full-screen quick reply view, and the keyboard should pop up from the bottom to let you type your message.

Alternatively, you can opt to tap the emoji button, which will let you quickly choose an emoji to send in response. If you’d like to just move over to the full-fledged Messenger app, there’s a button located right below the text entry field that lets you “Open Messenger.” The update to Messenger should be rolling out on the Play Store now, but if you’re impatient, head over to APKMirror to download version 1.3.

Our thoughts: Having quick reply in Messenger is a nice addition, but it’s definitely odd that Google pushes you to a full-screen view to reply. This contrasts with Apple’s official implementation, which simply drops down a text entry field from the notification itself. Not having the ability to quick reply from the lock screen itself seems pointless, because if you’re going to open the notification to its own quick reply screen, you might as well just tap the notification and open the app.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.