Virtual stickers seem to be all the rage in chat apps now. Google is looking to take them to the next level with new Messages and Gboard features that will make it easier to find and share stickers.
According to leaked details a tipster sent to Android Police, Google is testing sticker suggestions in Messages. The feature was spotted in a leaked ‘dogfood build’ of Messages version 6.2.031. Dogfood is a tech term for testing products to work out the bugs. Android Police says that version was an internal, pre-release version of Messages meant for Google employees.
Sticker suggestions appear above the text entry box, similar to the recently added ‘attach recent photos‘ prompt.
However, the new function may not actually be part of the dogfood built. Android Police reports that leaker Jane Manchun Wong managed to activate a toggle for enabling the feature in Messages’ settings menu on an earlier version of Google Messages. Further, some Android Police reporters have the toggle in their apps, but aren’t able to see sticker suggestions yet. It’s possible a future version of Messages — such as the leaked internal build — has the missing piece to activate the functionality.
Google Messages is testing "Suggested stickers" toggle setting pic.twitter.com/QtKXoQDBpw
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 24, 2019
As for Gboard, Google’s keyboard app has offered sticker and GIF suggestions for some time. However, a recent test has the keyboard highlight whole sticker packs with a star icon. If you’re part of the test group, you’ll see these highlighted sticker packs when you open the stickers menu in Gboard. If you tap on a highlighted sticker pack, there will be a shortcut to add it as well as access to the stickers within the pack.
Unfortunately, neither of these updates is readily available through the Play Store. If you really want to try them out, Android Police links to a third-party site to download and install the dogfood Messages build. I don’t recommend installing it unless you know what you’re doing since an internal build could have stability issues. In the case of Gboard, the new feature appears to be part of a server-side test, which means downloading a newer version of the app won’t necessarily give you access.
Source: Android Police