Last year, Google Messages in India started automatically categorizing your texts into categories. This auto-group capability is now starting to appear for users in other parts of the world.

Update 2/25: Categories are more widely rolling out. You’ll be prompted to enable upon opening the app if it’s rolled out to your device, but you might also want to check Settings for the “Message organization” menu underneath “Pinch to zoom conversation text”. That said, on phones where we have the preferences menu but not the prompt, switching the toggle on does not seem to work. Additionally, the rollout might primarily be stateside.


Original 2/23: Once rolled out, you’ll be greeted with an “Easily view messages by category” prompt to enable or turn off in preferences:

The app sorts your messages based on sender info and message content that are kept secure on your device

Underneath the search bar, you’ll see a carousel with All, Personal, and Business, with the latter two categories accompanied by icons. In settings, you have the ability to set your “Primary category view” and “Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hrs”:

Current and future OTPs will be permanently deleted after 24 hrs. 

There is no dedicated category for one-time passwords, and Google is not showing the Transactions and Offers filters available in India. This could be reflective of regional optimizations, with this feature analyzing conversations on-device. Google originally positioned this feature as helping tame your messages:

We’ve heard from many users in India that they receive a lot of different types of messages, from friends and family and businesses sending promotions, receipts, order confirmations and more. With so many incoming texts vying for your attention, it can be difficult to separate the important ones from everything else.

We’ve so far received one report of the categories rolling out in the US with the Google Messages beta. Like with the navigation drawer redesign and Google Photos integration or iMessage reactions, this capability is not fully available for all users.

More on Messages:

Thanks Ricky

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com