Google Messages is preparing a new setting that will keep you from accidentally zooming and increasing the size of your text.

Update: This option is now rolling out to those in the Google Messages beta.

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.

Disable pinch to zoom

On Google Messages today, you can quickly upsize or downsize the text on your screen with a simple pinch gesture. In a practical sense, this can be helpful for someone to quickly be able to read an incoming text and respond without needing to find their glasses first. For everyone else, though, this feature is more likely to be activated accidentally, making your conversations an unfamiliar size for no obvious reason.

In the latest update to Google Messages — version 20220121, rolling out now to beta testers — we’ve uncovered work toward a new toggle option in the settings.

Pinch to zoom conversation text

Our Dylan Roussel managed to force the toggle to appear in the Settings and disable it. Just as you’d expect, once disabled, Google Messages no longer responds to the usual pinch gesture to adjust text size.

In our testing, we also found that the app will hold whatever font size you’re currently zoomed to when you disable the toggle. Once you get happy with a font size for Google Messages, you can lock it in with this toggle.

For now, the option is not yet live for everyone using Google Messages, but considering it seems to be essentially ready as of today, it may only be a few more weeks before it rolls out widely.


Update 2/15: Just as we suspected, this morning Google began widely rolling out the option to disable pinch-to-zoom in the Beta version of Google Messages. The toggle appears in the app’s settings menu, which recently moved as part of a drawer-based redesign. To find it, tap your profile picture in the top-right corner and choose “Messages settings.”


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

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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