Mes­sages fea­tures you should start us­ing

Add a mes­sage sub­ject, ar­chive old threads, and more. RYAN WHITWAM re­veals the app’s best fea­tures

Android Advisor - - Contents -

The Google An­droid Mes­sages app is one of the finest ways to send and re­ceive text mes­sages. It’s even ready for the fu­ture with RCS stan­dard sup­port and am­ple fea­tures. You might not even re­al­ize all the neat things you can do with An­droid Mes­sages, so here are the five best.

1. Add a mes­sage sub­ject

A stan­dard text mes­sage doesn’t have a lot of fea­tures, but there are some lit­tle-known tweaks you can make in Mes­sages. In­stead of just tap­ping Send, long-press it. That brings up two things in the com­pose field: You can add a ti­tle to your mes­sage by tap­ping in the new field and en­ter­ing text. This makes the mes­sage be­have like an MMS, but it should load nor­mally on the re­cip­i­ent’s phone as there’s no photo or other me­dia at­tached.

2. Ar­chive old threads

After a few months, your text mes­sage list is prob­a­bly go­ing to be some­thing of a mess, lit­tered with threads you haven’t touched in ages. An­droid Mes­sages lets you get rid of them without re­ally get­ting rid of them. You can ar­chive old threads to get them out of the way, but still re­store them if nec­es­sary. Just long-

press to se­lect mul­ti­ple con­ver­sa­tions and tap the ar­chive but­ton at the top of the screen. You can also swipe left or right on a con­ver­sa­tion in the main list to ar­chive it. Go to Menu > Archived to see those con­ver­sa­tions and re­store them if needed.

3. Block num­bers

Not ev­ery­one you en­counter in life will be pleas­ant. An­droid Mes­sages makes it easy to block your fren­e­mies and spam num­bers. Long-press on

a con­ver­sa­tion to se­lect it, then tap the block but­ton (cir­cle with a strikethrough) at the top. This pre­vents mes­sages and calls from that con­tact from go­ing through.

Note: Block­ing a con­tact deletes the con­ver­sa­tion, so don’t block some­one if you’ll need to see the thread again later.

If you want to re­move a block, go to Menu > Blocked con­tacts. Tap the X next to the con­tact you want to un­block to re­ceive mes­sages again.

4. At­tach money, lo­ca­tions, and more

You prob­a­bly know that An­droid Mes­sages lets you add stick­ers and pho­tos to a con­ver­sa­tion, but there’s more hid­ing in that menu. Tap the plus but­ton in a con­ver­sa­tion, and you get a list of stick­ers and other fun stuff. Scroll down, and you’ll get to the good

stuff. You can add your lo­ca­tion, a voice note, and even send or re­quest money via Google Pay. You need to grant lo­ca­tion ac­cess to en­joy these fea­tures. Note, too, that Google Pay works in one-on-one con­ver­sa­tions only after you’ve set up the Pay app.

5. Use the wid­gets

If SMS is still your pri­mary way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with your con­tacts, us­ing an An­droid Mes­sages wid­get can be a real time­saver. There are no set­tings in the app to clue you into the wid­gets’ ex­is­tence, but you’ll find it in your home screen wid­get list. There are ac­tu­ally two dif­fer­ent wid­get op­tions: one that shows the most re­cent mes­sage in all your con­ver­sa­tions, and an­other that shows a sin­gle con­ver­sa­tion of your choice. The sin­gle con­ver­sa­tion ver­sion also has a pop-up com­po­si­tion box to send new mes­sages.

Add a mes­sage sub­ject

At­tach money, lo­ca­tions, and more

Use the wid­gets

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