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Google Messages Now Lets You Turn Blue Chat Bubbles Green (or Orange or Purple)

Google Messages is getting an update — this time with some pizzazz. Google is testing the addition of color and background customization for the RCS messaging app on Android phones.

Still in beta, the options will allow you to set custom backgrounds and chat bubble colors. The default theme follows Android’s Material You color schemes based on your device’s wallpaper, but it appears you’ll be able to change it if you prefer, as reported earlier by Android Police.

The color options are rolling out to users who have opted in to beta test the app, a Google spokesperson said in a statement last week. They’ll be available more broadly in the “near future.”

Google’s RCS, an iMessage-like standard, allows you to send higher-quality images via messaging and also use encryption. The effort has become so popular that even Apple has said it plans to bring RCS support to the iPhone this year. It’s unclear whether that will calm the green bubble debate, but this latest update means you’ll now be able to turn your iPhone-using friends’ chat bubbles green (or blue) on your end.

The move isn’t exactly “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” but Android users will probably appreciate it anyway. And it has the added benefit of helping Google Messages stand out in a world where Apple’s iMessage seems to always get more attention, whether it’s for new advanced security or anti-harassment features.

For its part, Google Messages is the tech titan’s latest effort to bring communication under one app. Google has a long history of fits and starts with messaging apps, including Google Talk, Google Hangouts, Allo and Duo. 

Over the past couple years, though, Google has put increasing attention on its Google Messages app. Samsung made the app its default native messaging program in 2021, as have some carriers, including AT&T. 

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