Google introduces new icon system for SMS messages

Google’s SMS messaging application, which now uses the Chat RCS communication protocol, has updated notifications reporting whether a message has been read by the recipient.

Previously, the Google Messages app added a small text just below the message (“Sent”, “Delivered”, “Read”). As shown by 9to5Google, these descriptive texts are now replaced by icons.

The truth is that it can be a bit confusing since the meaning of these pictograms is not explained anywhere, which is also not the most intuitive in the world. Let’s see the meaning of each of these new symbols:

  • clock icon: Send message.
  • An empty tick: Sent message.
  • Two empty check marks: message delivered.
  • Two filled checkmarks: Message read

We understand that Google wants to give a much more graphic and universal answer to this type of information, but this can certainly lead to misunderstandings. With that in mind, it would be interesting if Google added an informative message so that when users open the SMS app, they know what those new ticks next to each message mean.

On the left the old system of reading instructions and on the right the new system of symbols. | Image: 9to5Google

This new icon system has been in testing since last October and users have been hooked on it for a few weeks Google Messages Beta Program You can also test it on your device. It has also been appearing in the stable version of Google Messages for a few days.

It’s obvious that the icon system is the way to go, avoiding translations into hundreds of languages ​​for all this informative text, but this can only work if the icons are easily understandable. Would you know the difference between two empty or full ticks if you didn’t read this message right now?

What we do know for sure is that this icon redesign passed Google’s test and test filters, so we understand that user reactions have been positive. What do you think?

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