Custom Google message bubbles are rolling out with RCS backgrounds

After a preview in late November, Google Messages is slowly rolling out custom bubbles that let you select the color and background of RCS conversations.

Custom bubbles are for RCS chats only and do not appear in the SMS chats we examined today. Once it's released on your device, the “Change Colors” option appears in the full list of Google messages. They can also be accessed from the redesigned contact details below the photo carousel.

This opens a new full-screen preview UI with nine options: Default (the material that uses dynamic color), blue, turquoise, purple, green, orange, fuchsia, pink, and monochrome.

The theme you choose applies to almost everything on the screen, including your message bubble, but not to the text field (and the audio recorder button), which remains light or dark. Meanwhile, this does not apply to the details page, with dynamic color themes present throughout the rest of the app.

Custom bubbles are more visible when the system dark theme is disabled. This is also how you'll notice the RCS background, which – thematically – consists of bubbles. The same pattern seemed to be in use across the different conversations we examined. It's fairly subtle and doesn't seem as intrusive as it did when it was previously spotted late last year.

We're seeing custom bubbles with Google's latest messages Beta today (version 20240228+), but it is not yet widely rolled out.

If you set a theme and the other person doesn't have custom bubbles yet, they won't see any change on their phone. In the future, custom bubbles will sync on a per-conversation basis.

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