Google is rolling out this promised feature for RCS messages to beta testers — here’s what we know

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

Beta testers have begun to report customizable RCS chat colors for Google messages. This information comes to us from Android Police, who reported that the custom color options for the Rich Communication Services (RCS) chats were being rolled out to beta testers. The new setting appeared after updating from version 20240228 to version 20240308. However, it seems that the feature is not available on every device just yet as some have reported not seeing the option in their app. 

According to reports, users can change the color by tapping the three-dot menu button inside any Google Messages chat thread. Once tapped this option will then show the “change colors” option on the overflow menu. The option will also appear when selecting “Details” or “Group Details” and then selecting the "Change Color" option located beneath the images and videos section. 

It appears that there are currently nine options available for users to select from. The default theme will pull more subtle accent colors from the current wallpaper and try to match them. The other eight options use more vibrant colors for the sent messages and the backgrounds.

color options in Google Messages

(Image credit: Android Police)

It should be noted that there does not appear to be an app-wide option at this time, perhaps because the feature currently only works for RCS messaging and does not affect SMS and MMS options. 

The ability to customize the color options has been on the books for a few months now, as it was originally advertised back in November 2023. The option to customize the colors was a part of the feature drop that celebrated Google Messages reaching a billion users with RCS enabled. Alongside customizable bubbles, there were also photomojis, animated emojis, voice moods, and other features. While not all of the promised additions have surfaced yet, it seems Google is working to push them out.

RCS is no doubt on the rise, with even Apple allowing the feature on its devices. However, Android users still seem to be getting the best out of RCS with the wealth of options that seem poised to come to them. Meanwhile, Apple has stated that it plans to keep the green bubbles in its chat for the foreseeable future.

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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.