Google Messages working on feature to highlight unread messages


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Google Messages is testing a new way to highlight unread messages. It will display a blue dot to the right of an unread message’s timestamp. The development was spotted by a tipster in the app’s recent beta version — v10.6.240. Gmail often represents unread messages through such dots or notification badges in Android and iOS versions. The feature is aimed at highlighting the unopened messages and drawing the user’s attention. As of now, Google Messages show unread messages in bold text, which can sometimes be missed by users.

Reported first by Android Police, the blue dot will be similar to the notification badge and will appear towards the right of a message. Representing unread messages through dots is not entirely new as various apps including WhatsApp use it. It also allows users to mark a message as unread so they can be reminded of going through that message again.

Earlier Google Messages was reported to be testing a nudges feature that was introduced for Gmail in 2018. The nudges feature reminds users to follow up on emails that it thinks are important. According to Android Central, new strings found in the latest beta update for the Google Messages app suggest the app will soon highlight “messages you might have forgotten to respond to” at the top of the inbox. It will also show you “messages you might need to follow up on.” Google also rolled out special features for its messaging app like the auto-deletion of OTPs and sorting messages into categories. Google Messages lets users automatically delete their one-time passwords (OTPs) 24-hours after they are received.

Meanwhile, the Gmail app for iOS is getting a new widget that will have the same functionality as Android. Google shared a screenshot that shows the inbox with three recent emails with the sender and the subject. Google notes that the new widget will show the senders and subjects of the user’s most recent emails on the user’s home screen. Google notes that the new widget will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

The development comes after Gmail for iOS discontinued a previous version of the widget that was not received well. Google is also rolling out updates for Google Meet and Google Sheets. Google Meet for iOS will now support Picture-in-Picture support which will make multitasking easier for iOS users.

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