If Google wants Android Messages to be the iMessage of Android users, then they have better step up their game because they have got a long way to go. We’ve seen them introduce RCS Universal Profile so that it becomes more than just an SMS or MMS platform but we have yet to see OEMs adapt it as the stock messaging app. In the meantime, they are bringing features that should make it more robust and the latest update is no exception.
Because RCS lets you send more than just SMS, you’ll be able to converse in a more dynamic manner but it also makes search a pretty important part of the app. The search feature on Android Messages has now been improved by letting users search through past conversations by contact or by type of content. When you tap on a contact name, it will bring not just details about them but also the media and other content that you’ve exchanged with that person in both private and group conversations.
When you tap on the search icon, you’ll also be able to search individually by type of content. You can look for videos, photos, links, addresses in case you forgot to which contact you shared a particular piece of content with. Coupled with the previous keyword search through contact names and your entire message history, search on Android Messages is now way better, especially if you send a lot of media through the app.
This is already an improvement for Messages of course, but to be able to become THE messaging app is still the ultimate goal. Aside from trying to convince OEMs to make this the default app, they will also have to compete with the likes of WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger, etc. They’re currently missing a lot of the dynamic features that these messaging apps offer.
The new search on Android Messages will start rolling out next week, so don’t be annoyed if you don’t see it yet on the app.