Google Messages tests a new way to highlight unread chats – Android Police

Unread dots could be coming soon
Notification badges, or dots, have long been a feature of Android homescreens, allowing you to easily see which apps have new things for you to interact with. Indeed, most operating systems have some version of this, sometimes with unread counts baked in, as is the case with iOS. A new test found as part of Google Messages seems to show that the Mountain View company is looking to add a similar unread dot inside the app to better highlight chats that demand your attention.
Our tipster Nick Cipriani has encountered these new dots in two separate versions of Google Messages, with the first appearing a lot bolder (at least in dark mode), with a more saturated blue color. In the most recent beta version — 10.6.240 (10.6.240_RC00.phone.openbeta_dynamic) — the dot has been adjusted with a more pastely shade of blue, but it still shows up in the same place, to the right of the date/timestamp of each unread chat in the Messages inbox. It seems to be a server-side change rolling out to a very limited number of people, since I can't get it to show up on any of my devices. If you want to check for yourself, download the latest beta from APK Mirror.
Until now, Google has preferred to show unread messages purely with bold text, just as it does with unopened Gmail threads. Dots or badges are common in lots of other messaging apps, though, including WhatsApp and Apple Mail, plus tons of other email clients, so it's not exactly an original feature that Google is toying with here. Whether or not we'll see this roll out more widely is anybody's guess, since Google tests lots of different UI changes with varying rates of success. I'm not sure whether this is really super necessary, but if you use Messages a lot, you may be happy to see a more easily glanceable indicator next to the unread chats you've been neglecting to open, let alone reply to.
For more on Google Messages, check out the latest on its Material You makeover or read about an upcoming feature that could lead to better video sharing.
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Senior UK Editor — My interest in Android began with the beautiful Nexus 4 and the less-ugly-than-before Jelly Bean. Right now, I’m probably watching Black Books, playing football (soccer), or listening to Answer Code Request.

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