In its first update since the demise of Google Allo, Messages 4.2 is getting proper file attachments, continuing to prep for the launch of its Google Assistant integration, and picking up the ability to automatically verify a business’s identity.

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.

Business verification

In an effort to help you know what is and is not spam, it looks like Messages will be getting some sort of verification feature which will use Google services to check if a business message is legitimate.

<string name=”verified_sms_user_setting_disabled_snippet”>Do not verify business message sender</string>

<string name=”verified_sms_user_setting_enabled_snippet”>Verify business message sender</string>

<string name=”verified_sms_user_setting_summary”>”For incoming SMS messages from businesses, Google can check if the sender is verified or not. Google won’t see your message content. Verifying the sender may use data. Learn more”</string>

<string name=”verified_sms_user_setting_title”>Verify business message sender</string>

<string name=”verified_sms_user_setting_top_level_title”>Verified SMS</string>

Assistant in Messages

We’ve been watching the Assistant’s integration into Messages develop since 4.1, and we’re getting another step closer with this update. It appears as though Messages will show a notification on your device when the Assistant is sending a message. It seems like this might occur when the Assistant needs to get your confirmation before sending the message.

<string name=”google_assistant_verification_channel_name”>Assistant verifier</string>

<string name=”google_assistant_verification_notification_title”>Google Assistant sending message</string>

<action android:name=”com.google.android.apps.messaging.SEND_MESSAGE_FROM_ASSISTANT_WITH_CONFIRMATION”/>

File attachments

Up to this point, Messages has allowed only images and audio recordings to be attached to messages. With Messages 4.2, we find that files of any variety can be attached to a message, which is likely related to the various icons we uncovered back in 3.9. This feature is not yet rolled out to all users, but the folks at Android Police spotted it live on their end. The file attachment option will appear inside of the Plus menu when composing a message.

<string name=”c2o_multiple_file_attachments_size_limit_exceed”>Your attachments are too big to send. Try sending fewer at a time.</string>

<string name=”c2o_single_file_attachment_size_limit_exceed”>Your attachment is too big to send. Try sending a file smaller than %s.</string>

How to update?

Messages 4.2 is rolling out now via the Play Store. We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model is perilous given Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.


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