Anyone familiar with Gmail, Google’s email service, will know that they can swipe left or right on their phone or tablet to perform different tasks. These can be customized in the settings of the app, and most users set up the ability to swipe an email to the left to delete it and to the right to archive it.
In Google Messages for Android, this same feature is now available in beta and can be customized in the same way. In fact, the interface even looks nearly identical to that of Gmail, which makes it easy to understand and onboard users.
Prior to this update, you could swipe items away in your Messages inbox, but they would simply be archived, not deleted. In version 20220721 of the app, visiting the settings section will present you with a new “Swipe actions” option. There, you will find three options – archive, delete, and “off”, meaning nothing will happen if you swipe a message in either direction. This could help prevent accidental archival and is a welcome addition, in my opinion.
I kind of wish we could swipe a message to the left to mark it as unread, as I often take a few days to reply to messages if I want to be more thoughtful with my response or to reply at a more convenient time. I suppose Messages still has some growing up to do, but in the meantime, swipe actions are awesome, and I feel that most users will be happy they’re being added.