Google Messages lets you find your identity in text messages

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Ryan Haines / Android Authority

long story short

  • Google Messages is developing a profile feature that will let users set their own profile name and photo.
  • Users may have the option to control visibility to protect their privacy.
  • They may also have the option to receive notifications about contact updates.

In countries like the United States, text messaging remains popular, giving rise to the infamous “green bubble vs. blue bubble” iOS vs. Android debate. But text messaging apps primarily rely on your phone number to identify you, which they then push to receivers to set your name and profile photo in their contacts. Google Messages may change that as it prepares to let users set their own name and profile photo.

9 to 5 google Code discovered in the Google Messages app suggests that Google is working on a profile feature. These strings are associated with choosing your profile name and picture “so people can recognize you” and profile sharing.

Earlier this year, users discovered a Profile preferences page in the Android System Settings app that included “Profile Sharing” and a toggle to control “Visibility.” Like some messaging apps, you can also receive notifications when you find a contact, and there are “contact updates.” Note that these preferences don’t work right now because the feature isn’t live yet.

Google Messages profile settings in Android system settings

Profiles can be RCS functions. It could also be a Google Messages feature, similar to how Apple manages iMessage and Contact Posters, but not part of RCS or SMS.

Apple does have a significant advantage in the iMessage experience. iOS users don’t have to set a contact photo for a contact; Apple puts that responsibility on the recipient contact itself. Each user can set their own contact information, such as a photo associated with their Apple ID and phone number, and choose the profile’s visibility. If any of them appear in another iOS user’s address book and the privacy settings are appropriate, the contact entry will automatically pull that contact photo. The Profile option in Google Messages sounds similar in approach.

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