Since the “Buy your mom an iPhone” comment that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, made in response to a reporter’s question about Apple adopting RCS and the fact that video quality gets significantly degraded when a message goes through SMS, many have been quick to write Google Messages off and consider this a nail on its coffin. Meanwhile, undeterred by its mission, Google continues to add features to Google Messages that will ultimately enrich the experience, at least for those who are within its ecosystem.
In the latest APK teardown by 9to5Google, evidence was found that Google is actively working on an option to transcribe incoming voice memos, either automatically at the time of receipt, or manually while sending the message. For those using RCS, Emoji reactions to messages is also being expanded to include the full library of available Emojis, instead of just the seven that RCS has had since 2020.
In another teardown, it was found that Messages is also preparing a way to directly reply to a message in an RCS conversation. These replies set themselves apart from other messages by showing the original message that is being replied to right above the reply.
This could potentially be big for very active group chats where it can be difficult to pinpoint if one message is in response to another one in the same thread. According to 9to5Google, this even works in the Google Messages web app, which is good news for ChromeOS users or anyone that prefers to handle all their messaging from the same laptop or desktop they are using while working.
All of these upcoming features for Google Messages feel like they just might be the tip of the iceberg and that there are more to come. If we can’t have decent interoperability between iMessages and RCS, then I’m happy that at least Google is not giving up – for now – on making RCS a robust messaging platform for Android and web users.