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Android Messages getting better chat search, catching up to proper messengers like WhatsApp

Ever struggled to find a previous link, photo, or video in your message history? Google has a solution coming to Android Messages.

Published onSeptember 25, 2018

  • Google is rolling out a new Android Messages feature designed to help users find previously shared content in conversations.
  • The new section gathers images, videos, locations, and links previously shared in the chat.
  • Competing messaging apps like WhatsApp typically allow users to find shared media and links already.

Google is rolling out a new feature to Android Messages this week that brings it another step closer to popular messaging apps. According to a Google blog post published yesterday, Messages is soon getting a new and convenient way to search through chat histories.

Say you were sent a link a few months back to a black and white video of a man dancing in his pants — how would you normally go about finding this in your conversation history? You might try manually scrolling through reams of conversation in the hope that you’ll eventually spot it. With the new Messages search functionality coming this week, however, you’ll have a more convenient option.

Android Messages GIF showing the new search history functionality.

The feature will allow you to tap on a search icon within the app and select a specific contact to “see your messaging history with them, including one-to-one and group conversations, and all the photos, videos, addresses or links you shared with each other,” wrote Google.

This doesn’t mean the app is storing anything that it didn’t in the past — you could scroll back through all of the conversation histories manually to find all this content as previously mentioned. Rather, this is just bringing it all together in one area.

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The location links are a nice touch, but otherwise, messengers like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat have long since had media and link search functionality as part of their core features.

Though Android Messages may not gain many new users through this update, it seems like a smart upgrade for existing fans. Look out for the feature later this week and let me know in the comments what you think of it.