Google Messages Hits 1 Billion RCS Users, Unlocks New Features

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Google announced this morning that it has reached 1 billion RCS users in Google Messages, a major milestone, with only more RCS users set to be coming soon. Before we go any further, a round of high fives to all of us for sticking with RCS over the years, with the first mention of it on Droid Life being back in 2016.

To celebrate this occasion, Google is detailing a suite of new features, all designed to upgrade the user experience when messaging with RCS. There’s Photomoji, which can turn any photo on your phone into a reaction using on-device AI, as well as Voice Moods. With this feature, you can add an expression to your voice messages.

With new Screen Effects, all users need to do is simply type special phrases like “it’s snowing” or “I love you” to unlock a special animation. Google has hidden 15+ Screen Effects and is challenging users to find them all. Similar to other chatting apps, Messages is also adding Custom Bubbles, which allows users to customize their entire chat screen. This means it’s not all about green and blue bubbles anymore. Now you won’t be able to tell what color bubble your friend is.

You’ll also find Reaction Effects and Animated Emoji. With Reaction Effects, you’ll see even more immersion when reacting to a friends message, and with Animated Emoji, you’ll see improved visuals when sending just emoji as a message. It’s similar to Telegram’s animated emoji feature.

All of these features are rolling out starting today in the Messages beta. If you aren’t signed up for that, you can do so here.



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