The third developer preview of Android O came with a stack of new versions for Google’s assorted apps. Many of them are essentially unchanged from the regular versions available through the Play Store, but there are a few offering up some excellent new features. Android Messages falls into that group as it adds the option to mark a message read from the notification shade and customization for contact notifications has been completely reorganized to take advantage of Android O’s Notification Channels. A teardown also reveals that Android Messages is going to join the ranks of semi-intelligent chat apps that offers suggestions based on context.
You can certainly download the current v2.3 apk if you like, and it can be installed on devices running versions of Android below O, but it will probably crash on launch, so it is unadvisable.
Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)
Mark as read from message notifications
Notification settings have been relocated to Notification Channels
Mark as read from notifications
Left: version 2.2. Right: version 2.3.
Text messages introduce an interesting challenge for many users. When a new SMS comes in, it’s fairly common for the whole content of the message to be visible right in the notification. That’s a good thing since it means you probably don’t have to switch apps to read the rest of it. However, if you swipe the message away without taking action, it remains in your list in the unread state, which means you’ll probably end up doing some housekeeping to manually mark messages read later.
The latest update resolves that with a simple, straight-forward solution: It now has a ‘mark as read’ button positioned at the bottom of the notification. It works just as you’d expect by marking the message read and dismissing the notification in a single tap. There are other apps that offer