The “Mark as Read” button for Android Messages that Google started testing earlier this year is now rolling out to all users of the popular communications app, with the Alphabet-owned company officially launching it on Wednesday. The feature is part of the Android Messages build 2.3 that was initially introduced with the third Developer Preview of Android O two months ago, with that particular version of the app now seemingly being out of beta and available for download from the Google Play Store in all parts of the world.
The update marks the first major revision of the stable variant of Android Messages in months, and while the functionality itself may not seem like a major addition, it brings the app up to par with the majority of messaging apps developed by original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Just like its name suggests, the feature adds a “Mark as Read” button to your notifications about messages, allowing you to quickly expand the contents of shorter messages, read them, and mark them accordingly. Up until now, expanding a notification from the app and reading the message would still leave it marked in your inbox as being unread, which proved to be an inconvenient behavior for many users, and the same goes for message notifications that you would simply swipe away.
Apart from the new system button, the latest version of Android Messages also comes with additional “support for Android O,” according to its changelog, though that item may simply refer to the newly added feature and nothing else. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant debuted some unspecified performance enhancements and bug fixes with the new build of the app, the company said. Users running one of the last two Developer Previews of Android O can already use the “Mark as Read” button but are still advised to download the latest update due to the fact that it should make Android Messages more stable. The fourth and final experimental build of Android O was released in late July with finalized system behaviors and nearly complete system images, with Google promising that the OS will start hitting the stable channel by the end of August.