Google has added a contact’s profile photo to the top of conversations in messages for Android, following larger changes to “RCS” branding and read receipt icons in recent weeks.
Messages have always allowed users to open Google Contacts by tapping a person’s name in the app bar — the company is now emphasising that shortcut by showing their profile pictures as well, according to 9to5Google.
It is the same image that appears in the main list of conversations when tapping on the space in group conversations opens that detail page.
This design is consistent with other apps, with Facebook Messenger and Telegram displaying avatars in the same left position, while iMessage displays it in the centre, the report said.
Moreover, the magnifying glass icon has been removed as part of this change, and “Search” has been added to the overflow menu.
In January, Google rolled out end-to-end encryption in group chats for messages app users enrolled in the beta programme.
With this feature, one-on-one texts sent using messages by Google will be encrypted so they are private and secure and can only be seen by the sender and recipient.
The Google messages app already includes end-to-end encryption when messaging someone who also has the RCS (Rich Communication Services) chat features enabled, however, this has so far been limited to messages between two parties and not group chats.
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