With version 3.0 of Android Messages beginning to roll out this week, Google is already working on the next update to the SMS and RCS client. We’ve received a dogfood (or internal test) version of Android Messages 3.1 and it reveals upcoming support for Android P, a built-in GIF picker, and more about the web app.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Support for Android P
Messages 3.1 updates the platformBuildVersionName to “P” in a sign that Google’s apps are starting to add support for the upcoming version of Android. Meanwhile, there is a new folder that (unsurprisingly) suggests the next version of Android will be API Level 28.
GIF Picker and Search
The messaging app’s media picker currently has a carousel with expressive features like emoji and stickers. Version 3.1 hints at Android Messages gaining a built-in GIF picker, with the ability to search through and find more animations.
<string name=”mediapicker_gif_title”>Search GIFs</string>
Smart Reply for sending/requesting money and location
At the moment, Smart Reply analyzes what’s in a conversation to provide quick contextual suggestions on how to respond. It may soon suggest payment actions, like “Request money” or “Send money” and to share your current location when appropriate.
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestions_tooltip_text_ondevice”>Save time texting with Smart Reply. Learn more or turn off in <u>Settings</u>.</string>
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestion_payment_request_action”>Request payment action</string>
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestion_payment_request_action_description_no_amount”>Request money</string>
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestion_payment_send_action”>Send payment action</string>
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestion_payment_send_action_description_no_amount”>Send money</string>
<string name=”p2p_conversation_suggestion_share_location_text”>Share location</string>
More on Android Messages for web
Version 2.9 last month hinted that Android Messages would add an Allo-like web app to allow for viewing messages and replying from something other than your phone. The latest update better details that upcoming functionality.
When available, there will be a “Use Android Messages for web” prompt with the below icon that notes how you can now “Text on your computer.” Like Allo, the app will feature stats about connecitivity in regards to the desktop client.
<string name=”conversation_list_ditto_popup_negative”>NOT NOW</string>
<string name=”conversation_list_ditto_popup_paragraph”>Use Android Messages for web</string>
<string name=”conversation_list_ditto_popup_positive”>TRY IT</string>
<string name=”conversation_list_ditto_popup_title”>New! Text on your computer</string>
There are signs that Google is already testing this desktop client internally, while the app continues to link to messages.android.com as the possible URL for the website when this integration goes live. However, the public link might change before launch.
Google account linking for web app
Using Android Messages for web will likely require that users sign into their Google account during the setup process, with one prompt noting that linking will provide a “more personalized experience by using your Google Account info.” Users will also be able to disconnect their account.
<string name=”google_account_pref_title”>Google Account</string>
<string name=”account_selected”>account selected</string>
<string name=”create_account”>Add account</string>
<string name=”link_gaia_explanation”>Gives you a more personalized experience by using your Google Account info</string>
<string name=”remove_account_content_description”>Disconnect Google account</string>
Dylan contributed to this article