Google's new iMessage extensions allow iPhone users to drop all sorts of Google-curated information into their chats: from weather forecasts and nearby restaurants to trending YouTube videos and amusing GIFs. It's a much faster way to communicate and one of our favourite extensions in a long while. Here's how to get it on your phone right now.
The Google app's iMessage extension works in different ways depending on what you share. For example, when a recipient taps on a video, it will automatically appear on a new screen and start playing. When they click on a restaurant name, they will see a Google search results page for it. Tapping on a GIF fills the screen with the image and so on and so forth.
iOS. Google announced a big new update to its iOS app yesterday. If you only interact with Google on your iPhone by typing search queries into your browser's address bar, the concept of installing a standalone "Google" app might feel a little weird. Don't worry about it.
If you're a regular iMessage user, this is an incredibly useful tool to have up your sleeve. Best of all, it only takes a few seconds to set up.
Here's how to get it on your iPhone or iPad:
- Download the Google app from the Apple Store. (If you already have it on your phone, make sure you've got the latest version.)
- Open iMessage and fire up a conversation. You should now see a big, colourful "G" at the bottom of your iPhone's screen.
- Tap it to start dropping information, vidoes and GIFs into your chats!
That's literally all there is to it.
If you don't like the idea of having a 'Google' app on your phone, simply bury it deep in an iPhone folder. You can then safely ignore it while still having access to this powerful and user-friendly iMessage tool. Result!
For more Google/iOS goodness, check out our complete guide to adding the best Android apps to your iPhone.
Apple makes a great operating system and a solid phone, but some of their apps leave a little to be desired — especially the disaster that is iCloud. I've replaced all my usual tools with Google apps, and even on iOS, it's a remarkably seamless experience.