Update: Message scheduling is rolling out more widely!
Conversation categories have recently started to show up for a select few users of Google’s popular Messages app. The feature will soon allow messages to be automatically sorted into labels using AI and machine learning to keep things tidy. According to XDA Developers, we can also expect a message scheduling feature as well!
Thanks to Twitter user @besaireddy, we can see from his screenshots that Google has already rolled the feature out to him via a server-side update. With message scheduling, you will press and hold the send button while composing to bring up a few options for delayed sending – “Later today, 6:00 pm”, “Later tonight, 9:00 pm”, or “Tomorrow, 8:00 am”. In addition, you can manually choose a date and time as well.
Scheduled messages appear in your conversation with the recipient-to-be with a little clock icon next to them. Tapping it will show a pop up with its intended send date and time, the option to modify the message, send it immediately, or to delete it. Message Scheduling works with regular SMS too – it’s not restricted solely to RCS. Do keep in mind as well that this feature will only work if your phone is powered on at the time that the scheduled message is due to send! If this is anything like Gmail and Inbox’s snooze feature, I’m thinking that you will also have the ability to customize send times for ‘today’, ‘tonight’, and ‘tomorrow’. You probably won’t see this update roll out for a few weeks, at least, as XDA did inspect the latest Google Messages app APK and found strings of code confirming the feature, but few people currently have the opportunity to play with it.
I first fell in love with message scheduling apps many years ago. The convenience of planning out your communications late at night after a long day’s work without bothering someone after hours or even scheduling out regular messages to friends and family to stay in touch and hold yourself accountable is a godsend. I know, I’m a terrible person for not just remembering. The main problem is that these apps have come and gone and have remained as third party solutions. If you didn’t have space on your phone (Does anyone remember, but not particularly miss the 8/16gb phone days?) you’d likely sacrifice these apps for space and if you didn’t keep them out in the open you’d probably forget to use them!
I’m looking forward to seeing this integrated into a well known and popular first-party application. If you’d like to get in on the message scheduling craze early, you can download the original cross-platform messaging app, Pulse SMS from the Play Store! It has a very clean look and feel like Google Messages. Before anyone else really had skin in the game, Pulse was the go-to choice! With message scheduling, conversation categories, and the automatic deletion of one-time passwords after 24 hours, it looks like Google’s preparing to make its offering the place to be.