Google Messages tipped for new feature that reveals the identity behind unknown numbers — what we know

Google Messages
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Google Messages could soon add a sender's name to messages sent by someone outside your contacts list, according to changes in the app's latest beta found by Android Authority.

Teardowns of app betas can reveal potential features based on work-in-progress code. In this case, AA found a change to the notification users receive when getting a message from a new contact. If users receive a text from a number not saved in the phone’s contacts, and if the texter has Profile Discovery enabled, the notification will include the sender's name. 

The biggest issue with this potential feature is that Profile Discovery requirement. Users wishing to enable discovery can only do so via Google Accounts in a browser at the time of writing. While there are steps for activating the feature on Google Messages, they don’t work yet as the feature is unfinished.

Google Pixel 8 shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This isn’t the only new feature we’ve heard about for Google Messages, as it was recently reported that customizable RCS chat colors for messages was on the way. With this, users can change the color by tapping the three-dot menu button inside any Google Messages chat thread. There are apparently nine options available to select from, but the feature only covers RCS messages, not SMS and MMS options.

Google also recently added the ability to add animated emojis to its Messages app. There are 10 reactions to choose from, which you can activate by long-pressing the relevant emoji response to a particular message, like on iMessage on iPhones.

It's important to note that APK breakdowns are only predictions, and features found in them may take a long time to go live, or may not ever appear. However, this message ID-ing feature would be useful for all users, any time someone new sends a message. So we hope Google does finish it and send it live ASAP.

While we wait for this messenger ID feature to appear, we also await the release of Android 15, which we expect to be announced at Google I/O 2024 on May 14. We're expecting news about the latest Android version to take center stage, as well as teasers for the Pixel 9 and Pixel Fold 2, we hope.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.