Google Assistant has quietly received a major upgrade to its messaging features, giving the AI helper the ability to read messages from third-party apps.
The lack of official announcement for the new feature is odd, especially considering Android users have wanted this functionality for some time.
Previously, Google Assistant could only read messages from Android Messages and Google Hangouts aloud—and not very well, either. Now, the sky is the limit: Google Assistant can read your messages from third-party apps such as Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Telegram, and even Google’s own finicky apps like Google Voice.
The assistant will then dictate all unread messages you have, in order, and will even swap between different apps if you have a backlog across multiple messaging services. The only exception is media messages, where Google Assistant simply says that the message contains media but doesn’t open the attached file.
In addition to the reading the messages itself, you can also request to hear who the sender is and which app it was sent from. And once Google Assistant has read the message out loud, it’s removed from your notifications.
To respond to any of your messages, you can use Google Assistant to reply via voice or by typing your response. Once you’ve sent your response, you can continue listening to your lingering unread messages.