Android 11 isn’t a massive update, but it brought a ton of quality-of-life changes to the platform. One of those changes was a super smooth animation for the keyboard, but it hasn’t been used widely yet. Now, Google Messages is adopting the smooth keyboard animation.

While we’re not 100% sure exactly when this feature first rolled out, the latest versions of Google Messages seem to support the smooth keyboard on Android 11. This includes the latest beta release, v7.0.037, and we were also able to see the change as far back as v6.9. Google Messages v6.8, though, does not support the animation.

Once an update is installed that supports this Android 11 feature, it triggers the new animation any time the keyboard is opened. In message threads especially, it’s a really smooth and polished look!

Google originally announced this change to Android 11 back in the second developer preview, saying that the new API would make it “much easier to create natural, intuitive and jank-free” transitions for the keyboard.

The difference is very obvious in practice, too. You can see the beta version on the left below with the older version on the right.

The earliest report we could find on this change came from early this week, and now we’re seeing it more widespread on the latest Google Messages beta along with a thread on Reddit containing some reports. One user also mentioned that WeChat now supports this feature. Apparently, it’s also supported in the latest version of Google Pay Tez.

It’s unclear when other popular apps will adopt this feature, but Google opening it up to its default SMS/RCS app is a big step in the right direction.

More on Google Messages:

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Ben Schoon

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