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Google Messages Brings Blue Chat Bubbles to Android Users

Google Messages is giving out a new thing that may take away some of the pain from the blue bubble/green bubble argument for Android owners. First shown last November, the Custom Bubbles thing will let users change the colour and background of their RCS (Rich Communication Services) chats.

Blue Isn’t the Only Choice
While blue isn’t the only choice available, it’s clear that all of Google’s pictures show Android chats with bright blue bubbles.
Not Yet Available to Everyone
The thing isn’t yet available to everyone but 9to5Google notes several user reports in recent days to show it’s moved beyond the beta.

Only for RCS Chats
Importantly, this thing is just for RCS chats and won’t work for SMS. Once it’s hit your device, you’ll be able to select it by tapping the contact name (or the group name) inside the chat and choosing the “Change colors” option.

Nine Different Options
You’ll then be shown nine different options: Default (Material You Dynamic Color), Blue, Turquoise, Purple, Green, Orange, Fuchsia, Pink, and Monochrome. According to Google’s support document, the theme will go back to default if you delete a chat with a selected theme or start a new chat with the same contact.
The theme will be applied to what you see, but the person you’re speaking to won’t see any change unless they also have Custom Bubbles available. If they do, the change will be the same across conversations.

More Upgrades Announced
Custom Bubbles was announced along with Google saying over 1 billion active monthly users of Google Messages with RCS enabled. The company stated that being able to color-code your conversations would prevent you from “accidentally texting your family group chat a weekend update meant for your friend.”
Several other message upgrades were also announced, including:

  • Photomoji: Uses AI to change photos into reactions and screen effect animations — like an explosion of hearts when you receive an “I love you.”
  • Animated emoji and reaction effects: Makes your standard thumbs up or smiley face emoji into a little animation.

The Great Bubble Stalemate Continues
Don’t think that Google’s Custom Bubbles thing rollout will end the great Android/iOS bubble argument. While Apple has confirmed it will be using the RCS Messaging standard on iOS this year, the company is keeping Android devices firmly in their green zone.

Apple confirmed to 9to5Google that while RCS will bring plenty of iMessage-style things to texts between Android and iOS (think read receipts and typing indicators), iPhone-to-iPhone messages will continue to appear blue, while messages from Android devices will be green.

Why? Well, it’s apparently because Apple wants to mark what it believes to be the best and most secure way for people to communicate: from one iPhone to another, via iMessage.


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