Google announced two updates for Messages which is the default SMS app in the Android mobile operating system.
The Android users in the US and some selected countries will be able to use two new features named Verified SMS and Spam Protection.
Verified SMS feature
Verified SMS feature works by confirming the identity of the SMS sender. Roma Slyusarchuk, a Google Software Engineer on the Messages app said that when a message is verified, which is done without sending your messages to Google, you will see the business name and logo as well as a verification badge in the message thread.
The Verified SMS will only be used to verify the authenticity of SMS messages sent by businesses. It won’t verify and add a verification badge to messages sent by normal users.
Google stated that they have created this feature to help users trust the messages they receive, especially for “things like one-time passwords, account alerts or appointment confirmations.”
They did not however explain how the new feature works. The company stated that it should be able to detect SMS messages sent from random numbers, previously not associated with a company, and thereby, help prevent some phishing attacks.
Google had tested this feature with companies like 1-800-Flowers, Banco Bradesco, Kayak, Payback, and SoFi, but any company can sign up via its Developers portal.
Verified SMS is being rolled out now to nine countries: the US, India, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, France, Philippines, Spain, and Canada.
Spam Protection Feature
The second Messages app feature announced is the Spam Protection which works by showing a notification bar at the top of the Messages app when the app believes a newly-received message contains the markers of a classic SMS spam text.
Similar to Verified SMS feature, Spam Protection would work without sending the user’s SMS message to Google’s servers, keeping conversations private.
Details about how to enable Spam Protection feature are available in the Google support page.
The tech giant stated that this feature has already been active in few countries but now it will be broadly available for US users as well.