Google News prepares voice records and full emoji responses

Upcoming Google News features will let you read voice memo transcriptions, react to messages with any emoticons, and more.

APK Statistics Info: In this “APK Insight” post, we have decompiled the latest version of the application submitted by Google to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs in the case of Android apps), we can see different lines of code in this tip for possible future features. Please note that Google may or may not ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. However, we will try to include those that are closer to completion to show what they will look like when shipped. With that in mind, read on.


Voice message transcriptions

In today’s Google News, whether you are talking via RCS or SMS / MMS, you can record a voice memo to be sent to the other person thanks to the included microphone button.

However, there may be times when such a recording is not a good way to get your message across. For example, the audio is often compressed, which can sometimes make it difficult to hear the words, or the recipient may simply not be where to hear the message.

To be more helpful in such situations, Google Messages prepares an option to transcribe incoming voice memos. In one iteration of this feature, new messages are automatically transcribed as they are received, while another style we saw is manually pressing the “Transcribe” button. For now, this feature doesn’t seem to be rolling out, but our team has managed to enable it manually.

In our limited testing, Google News seems mostly correct transcripts, even automatically placing punctuation marks, seemingly based on the speaker’s pauses and tone of voice. However, transcription isn’t as fast as Google Assistant’s voice typing on the Pixel 6, with a noticeable lag when you hit “Transcribe” on a 13-second recording.

Transcripts can help when the sound of a voicemail message is unclear or it is not possible to hear it. Voicemails are only transcribed on your device and the transcription content is not sent to Google. Manage at any time in settings.

Full emoji reactions

In 2020, Google Messages introduced the ability to respond to messages, starting with a set of seven response emojis that loosely match what Apple offers in iMessage. Since then, Google Message responses have remained relatively unchanged, with the biggest addition being the app’s ability to “translate” iMessage responses to make texting to iPhone friends less annoying.

Google now wants to make the reactions of people speaking via RCS much more dynamic. Using the latest Google News beta, we found a feature in progress that allows you to respond everyone emoji. In the new design, the thumbs down emoji has been replaced with an icon that means “add emoji”.

Pressing this button brings up the complete list of emojis available on your Android phone, any of which can be used as a reaction to the message. Moreover, these custom emoji reactions already work on the recipient side without enabling this feature as our team was able to send various emoji reactions to each other.

Finally, Google Messages may also receive a redesigned photo gallery view. Currently, the app offers a horizontally scrolling grid of recent images and screenshots that can potentially be attached to a message, as well as the option to take a photo on the fly.

In the new design that our team has made possible, you can now scroll photos vertically, even using more of the screen when scrolling, giving you a less cramped experience. The old “Gallery” button has been replaced with the “Folders” option which offers essentially the same experience. Overall, the redesign of the Google Messages photo gallery – in particular its floating action buttons in the corner – works pretty well with Material You.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler some Insight APKs use.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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