Google Phone app now features floating chat heads!

Up to the minute version of Google Phone app now supports floating chat heads similar to Facebook Messenger’s chat heads. Google is now working on developing another feature for the hearing and or speech impaired. The floating chat bubbles can be dragged around your phone screen.

Images that have been selected for the callers will be available as the display of the chat heads in the version 17. And if we don’t select an Image, a generic avatar will be displayed as the chat heads. The chat heads on pressing will unveil a small drop-down menu which let you return to the Phone app, mute the call, turn on the speaker for calls, and end the call session. If tapped again on the chat head, it will hide back the drop-down menu. On tapping and holding the chat head, it enables us to either hide the chat head or end the call.

There is no setting in the Google Phone app to permanently disable the chat head, even though we can hide it. The only alternative is to discover the list of apps that can “Display on top of other apps” and disable the feature from there. This workaround can be found in the Settings menu of the Phone.

The version 17 is not just with the chat head feature, but with Android Police’s APK teardown which revealed the groundwork for Real-Time Text (RTT) support. RTT, which is meant to replace the existing TTY protocol, immediately transmits each letter and character to the receiving person. This is exclusively used for those in noisy environments and is not meant to be solely used by those with difficulties in hearing or seeing.

The new protocol should be implemented by the wireless carriers from December 2017 to June 2021 as per the new rules by FCC who adopted RTT. Version 17 of Google Phone app is now available from the Play Store. This Phone app is exclusively available only for Nexus, Pixel, and Android One devices. It is due to the cell carriers handling core functions like phone calls and Voicemail for other Android handsets.

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