One of the best things about Android Messages for Android is Smart Replies. If you aren’t familiar, Smart Replies allows for one-tap replies to text messages received, relying on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to give you the appropriate answer options. Now it seems that Google is building this same AI/ML into Google Gboard to enable it to work across a wide range of messaging apps.
The feature is still very much in development so don’t look for it in the stable release of the keyboard app just yet. Instead, the team over at XDA has done a tear down of the latest beta of the Gboard app and has discovered the code to support Smart Replies across multiple different messaging apps.
In their tear down, they discovered that Smart Replies are aimed for the following messaging apps:
- Android Messages
- Facebook Messenger
- Facebook Messenger Lite
- Google Allo
- Google Hangouts
The benefits of moving it into Gboard is that the keyboard app becomes the universal Smart Replies app in the Android ecosystem and it becomes less app dependent. That is, it isn’t dependent upon developers adding Smart Replies themselves to their apps. Doing this makes it easier for developers which, in turn, means that end users will be able to take advantage of the feature without being dependent on multiple developers for their messaging apps. Further, if you use multiple messaging apps, using Google Gboard would give you the same user experience across all those apps.
It isn’t clear when this new feature will be rolling out and we could still be months away so don’t get overly excited just yet, but all indications are that it will be sooner rather than later.