153859 Google Messages conversations now show contact photos

Google Messages conversations now show contact photos

Google Messages for Android is adding contact photos to conversation threads. The photo will appear to the left of the contact name at the top of conversations. Most other messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Apple iMessage already do that.

Before this update, Google Messages only showed the contact name at the top of conversations, on the same toolbar that also contains the video call, voice call, and search buttons. The contact name doubled up as a shortcut to the details page on the Contacts app. With the latest change, the shortcut is further emphasized. You can now tap either on the photo or the name to see details. If you’re viewing a group conversation, tapping that space opens the group details.

The photo you see in Google Messages conversations is the saved contact image, which also appears in the main list of conversations. As said earlier, this is something that already exists on most other messaging apps. WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram show the contact image on the left in conversations, while iMessage shows it at the center. All of these platforms use the profile avatar as a shortcut to user details.


Since adding an image to the top toolbar needs extra space, Google has now removed the search button from there. If you want to search for a specific message or keyword in a conversation, you’ll have to take a longer route to find the search button inside the overflow menu (three vertical dots in the right corner). This is an expected change to ensure that the top toolbar doesn’t look cluttered. Most other messaging apps also only show voice and video call buttons next to the contact name at the top of conversations. The search button usually resides in the overflow menu.

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Google Messages recently tweaked read receipts and RCS branding

This update for Google Message follows a recent change that tweaked read receipts. Instead of using words to indicate sending, sent, delivered, and read, the app now uses icons. Timer, single check, double check, and color-filled double check replace the four indicators, respectively.


A few weeks before this, Google made the RCS (Rich Communications Services) branding in Messages more prominent by replacing the use of “Chat features” with “RCS chat“. All of these changes are available to users with recent updates for the Google Messages app. If you haven’t updated it recently, you can click the button below to download the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store.


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