No one loves to hear the notification of an incoming text message, only to find that it’s yet another spam message. There are indeed apps that offer you protection from spam on your Android mobile phones.
Now, Google is unveiling a feature that offers inbuilt spam protection for your Android messages. After six months of working on the feature, Google has started rolling out the spam protection feature for Messages for its Android users. A few Android users noted that they saw a new prompt with the message, “New! Spam Protection,” as soon as they open the Messages inbox on their phones.
Automatic Spam Detection from Google
It was rumoured for a while now that Google has been working on an “automatic spam detection feature” for Messages (earlier known as Android Messages). This rumour got traction when a support page for the feature was released along with version 3.6 of the Dark Theme a few months back.
How Does this New Feature Work?
Earlier, it was possible only to manually block spam messages, just after you receive a message from a spammer. Blocking a spammer meant they could no longer send you a text message. With, automatic spam protection, your messages feature blocks spam directly, with no feedback from the user.
When this feature is enabled, information about the received message is sent to Google. Google, then uses this information to block spam from your mobile inbox in the future.
If you are worried about privacy, Google assures you that it doesn’t track any personal information like your phone number or even the content of the message. What it tracks is statistical data to detect whether the incoming message has commonalities with other spam messages. It then uses this info to identify whether a particular message is spam or not.
Even, when this new feature debuts, you will still be able to block spam messages manually.
Is this Feature Available for All?
Right now, it appears that this feature is rolling out using a server-side switch in a phased manner. Users, who have this feature, will notice the above “prompt message” as soon as they open the Messages app.
When you click on “Learn More” on the above prompt, you can see statements from Google assuring that it doesn’t monitor the content of your message. The search giant only collects information about spam messages, so that it can improve its ability to detect spam in the future.
Can you Turn off Auto-Spam Detection?
To disable/enable the Spam Protection feature, head to the Advanced section of your mobile settings.
What to do, if you don’t have this Feature Yet?
Since this is a server-side roll out, there’s nothing you can do. Most users will get this feature in the next few days or weeks.
Google’s Move to Minimise “Android”
Google has always maintained that the Messages app is the primary form of communication for its users. Recently, Google announced that it’s shifting the Messages web app from Android.com to Google.com. Also, Google changed the name of the ‘Android Message’ app to ‘Message’. Experts see these moves by the search giant to reduce the use of the term “Android” among its vast user base.