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Google Messages A/B test adds voice recording button w/ slide to cancel [Gallery]

Over the years, Google Messages has become more than just a text messaging app, as Google has used it to help push RCS features to new regions. However, some of the more useful features have been buried in somewhat messy menus. To help with this, Google Messages is trying out a new UI that makes the ability to record and send voice messages far easier to use.

As Google continues to push their Chat initiative to improve the way we message each other — and maybe one day fix the “green bubble problem” — the Messages app has been their main vehicle. As part of that, the Google Messages has picked up a plethora of features like GIF search, voice recording, Stickers, and location sharing.

Normally, most of these are hidden within a “plus” menu and hidden from view until you actually want to use them. This layout helps keep things clean for when you just want to use text or send images, but Google is considering making one more communication method easier to access: voice messages.

In the experimental UI, when your message box is empty, the typical “Send” button is replaced with a circular button with a microphone. Just like the existing voice recording option in Google Messages, you can press and hold on the microphone to record a message. Typing anything into the message box makes the microphone button disappear.

While recording, the full text box is taken over by the new voice recording UI, showing how long your recording is, and the words, “Slide to cancel.” Just as it says, swiping your finger to the left will cancel your in-progress voice recording, a feature not available in Google Messages today.

Perhaps Google wants this new button placement to encourage people to use Messages as a simple way to carry voice conversations. For now, it seems Google is rolling out this new UI very selectively, possibly only to certain Messages beta users, as no one else on the 9to5Google team was able to see it.

Do you use voice recording in Google Messages? Let us know in the comments.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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