Last month, we saw some users begin to receive access to the pinning and starring features in Google Messages for Android. Pinned messages allow users to stick specific conversations at the top of their Messages inbox for quick access, and starring messages allows for quickly jumping to specific texts that contain vital information – also for quick reference. Though similar, these two tools serve very different purposes.
Now, both are finally rolling out to users over the next few weeks. Soon, it will be easier than ever to keep tabs on important snippets of data like food orders, grocery items, and more with a star – whatever someone sends to you that you may be too busy to toss into a Keep note. To complement the release of starring, Google has uploaded a video on the official Android Youtube channel detailing its use cases, and you can watch it below. To star a message, just press and hold it and choose the star at the top of the conversation thread. Additionally, keeping your friends and family above those verification code messages you always receive while trying to log in to your accounts on other devices will be a cinch with message pinning.
Another major rollout this week is end-to-end encryption for RCS chat. Google is now making it possible for everyone on Android to chat more securely. When you and the person you’re chatting with both have e2e encryption enabled, your messages will be protected as they travel from one phone to the other (see video below). It’s important to note that this will only work for one-to-one conversations, not group chats. It’s awesome to see Google take this into their own hands with RCS as many carriers have proven to be an obstacle to a worldwide implementation until now.
Lastly, a new feature has appeared for many users and is rolling out as well with v8.3.026 of the application – pinch to zoom to change the font size! This is actually very welcome for those who don’t want to go to the settings of their phone and alter the display settings. You can see below in the video from Android Police that if you pinch or spread your fingers on the screen while in a message thread, the entire conversation will intelligently alter its flow as the text size changes.
Google Messages is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, and it continues to add features that benefit users worldwide. At this rate, Google could easily have something on its hands that is comparable to iMessage but for Android and Chrome OS users. I know those are fighting words, but you can’t deny the level of polish and care that went into the app’s development over the past year or two. Now, we just need message categories to roll out and I’ll be happy!