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Google Messages Will Highlight Unread Chats With Notification Dots

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Google is working on a new way to highlight unread chats in Google Messages. According to an Android Police report, the company is adding a blue notification dot to highlight messages that the user has yet to open. The blue dot will appear to the right of an unread message’s date/time stamp.

As of now, Google Messages shows unread messages in bold preview text, similar to unread Gmail threads. While it mostly gets the job done, it can be missed by users sometimes, at least that’s what Google thinks. To that end, the company is now adding a notification dot as well. This is on top of the exiting bold text indicator. It will ensure better highlighting of unread chats.

The latest change was discovered by a tipster in two separate versions of Google Messages. The initial version featured a darker, more saturated blue dot. But with the most recent beta version (10.6.240), Google changed it to a lighter shade of blue. The dot appears in the same place in both versions though. Perhaps the company is testing multiple shades for the notification dot before the public rollout.

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Google Messages unread chats notification dot 1
Google Messages unread chats notification dot 2
Google Messages unread chats notification dot 1
Google Messages unread chats notification dot 2

Google Messages adds notification dots to highlight unread chats

Notification dot is not a new feature. Google has been long using such dots on Android home screens. Most messaging apps, including WhatsApp, also use various iterations of this feature to highlight unread chats within the app. Some apps even have unread counts baked inside the notification dot, including all iOS apps.

Google is now seemingly preparing to bring it inside Messages so users don’t miss a message because they couldn’t notice it was unread. Assuming that the feature makes its way to a public release in the future (some proposed features never make it beyond the testing phase), it’s a welcome change. There’s one more handy new feature likely coming to Google Messages soon: a nudges feature that will remind users to respond to important messages.

According to the new report, the new notification dot in Google Messages is rolling out to a small number of users via a server-side update. You can download or update to the latest version of Google Messages beta (link below) from the Play Store to see if it’s available to you. Note that the feature is still in beta and may not work as intended sometimes. We will let you know once it rolls out publicly to all users.

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