Google Messages could be the next app to get added AI

Screenshots of chats in Google Messages
Google Messages could be getting another AI feature (Image credit: Google)

It's hard to get away from AI at the moment, whether it's ChatGPT helping house buyers or Snapchat users getting their own AI friend. Now a new rumor suggests that Google Messages will be getting its own generative AI features.

This comes from screenshots shared with 9to5Google, as well as hidden code previously spotted in the app. It seems that the feature will be called Magic Compose, and expand on the smart replies that already pop up in Google Messages.

We can see from the screengrabs that there are different tones to choose from, including Excited, Formal, and Lyrical – which drafts out a response in the form of a short poem, based on a prompt given by the user.

A kind of magic

It seems as though you can give Magic Compose a start when it comes to a response, or let it come up with one entirely on its own based on the context of the conversation. It's also labeled with an Experiment badge in these images.

We shouldn't be surprised that something like this is rolling out for Google Messages in the near future: Google has been pushing similar tools into its Gmail, Google Docs and Google Sheets apps in recent weeks.

As for when we'll see this feature announced and rolled out, Google IO 2023 seems like a good bet. The keynote day is this Wednesday, May 10, and we will of course be bringing you all the news from the event as it happens.

Analysis: all eyes on IO

There's clearly going to be a lot going on at Google IO 2023 next week. The event is supposed to be primarily for developers, with announcements around upcoming changes to Android, Wear OS, and other Google apps and services. In recent years, we've also seen hardware announcements at the show.

We're expecting to hear a whole lot more about artificial intelligence in Google products too. This is an area where Google traditionally sees itself as one of the leaders in the field, and there were several AI-related announcements at Google IO 2022 last year.

Over the last few months though, Google has been overtaken by rivals such as OpenAI and Microsoft, who have pushed out spectacular generative AI engines faster and with more fanfare. Google has countered with Bard, but it's still lagging behind.

At Google IO 2023, expect Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his team to try and make up more ground – probably with Magic Compose for Google Messages and a whole lot more AI goodness. The age of AI is well and truly upon us, and Google is going to want to make sure that it gets back out in front.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.