Back at the beginning of November, Google began testing a new feature for its SMS app Messages that allowed you to schedule when a message would be sent. It appears the testing went rather well because the feature is now rolling out more widely in the U.S.
Scheduling to send a message ahead of time is nothing new, we’ve had the ability to do this for ages in Gmail. We’ve also seen other messengers incorporate this, such as the popular Telegram app. However, it’s not a common option among SMS apps, and it’s certainly a way to make Google’s Messages app stand out from the crowd.
As with most Google features, scheduled sending will be rolling out in phases and it may not be on your phone just yet. To test if scheduled sending is available for you long press on the send button.
If the schedule message window pops up, then you’ve got it. In the dialog window, you’ll have a choice of preset times to schedule sending your message along with a way to set a custom date and time. There are also options to update your message, delete the message, or send now if you just can’t wait.
If you see an option to add a subject instead, then Google hasn’t flipped the server-side switch for you yet, and you’ll only be able to send an MMS with a subject line using this shortcut for now.
What if you want to send an MMS with a subject line and that shortcut has now been replaced with scheduled sending? In order to do that, just click on the three-dot overflow menu in the top right-hand corner.
With Allo joining the Google Graveyard and Hangouts not far behind, Messages is Google’s last-ditch effort at a unified messenger on Android. Hopefully, with the power of RCS and new features like scheduled sending, it might be enough to gain some traction. Most likely though, people are going to stick with apps like Facebook Messenger, Discord, or WhatsApp because they work and it’s what all our friends are already using.