During this period, we rely heavily on digital messaging tools to stay in touch with people who cannot be seen in person: friends, family, colleagues; Google has illustrated five functions of the Messages app that can help communicate in more personal and express ways

Now, when you receive a photo, video or chat message, you can react to it instantly. Just press the message for a long time and animated expressions will be displayed to choose from, such as laughter, surprise, sadness, anger and more. Reactions are available in Message conversations with enabled chat features.

Google then expanded the Smart Reply feature to include sticker tips to make it easier and faster to communicate with the people we’re in contact with. If you have chosen to activate Smart Reply’s suggestions, stickers (the stickers) will be displayed automatically while you are writing messages, so you don’t need to start looking for one to share at that time. The evocative stickers are currently available only in English.

With a multimedia editor integrated in Messages, you can easily create artistic drawings on photos and share them directly in conversation. To get started, just take a photo with the in-app camera and add a text or draw on the image using brushes, before sharing them with friends and family.

Voice messages are a great way to communicate more personally, especially if you don’t need an immediate response. They are also perfect for those moments when you simply want to say something instead of sending a text message. Recently Google has simplified sending a voice message with a dedicated button. Now, just hold the microphone button in the composing bar to record and attach your voice message, in an easy and immediate manner.

With video calls integrated in Messages, it is also easy to move conversation from text messages to a video call, to recover visual contact with people. Here again, it’s a simple operation: just tap the video call button in the upper right corner of the app, to quickly start a Google Duo video call with the person you’re sending messages to.

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