Google has unveiled the beta version of Magic Compose, a new feature in its Messages app that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to assist users in composing text messages. However, Android Police has highlighted an important caveat accompanying this feature: it sends up to “20 previous messages” to Google’s servers to generate suggestions, even if the user has enabled end-to-end encryption (E2EE) through RCS (Rich Communication Services).
Google has outlined the conditions on its Magic Compose support page, clarifying that these messages, including emoji, reactions, and URLs, will be sent to its servers to aid in crafting suitable responses. The company specifies that messages with attachments, voice messages, and images will not be sent, but cautions that “image captions and voice transcriptions may be sent.”
E2EE was introduced by Google in 2020, and support for group chats was added later. Activating this feature ensures that not even Google can access users’ messages. Although using Magic Compose with E2EE entails sending messages to Google’s servers, the company asserts that it cannot actually read the content.
Justin Rende, a spokesperson for Google, further clarified that “conversation data used by Magic Compose is not retained” and that “suggested response outputs are not retained once they’ve been provided to the user.” Disabling Magic Compose will prevent Google from sending messages to its servers.
Magic Compose is just one of the AI-powered features showcased by Google at its I/O event. Users can employ this feature to respond to text messages using stylized, suggested responses tailored to the context of their messages. The rollout is currently underway for users in the Google Messages beta program.
If the feature is accessible, users will notice a chat bubble next to the app’s message composer. They can select a suggested response and then continue modifying the text using various preset styles such as “chill,” “excited,” or “Shakespeare.” At present, the feature appears to be available exclusively for RCS messages, with no information on its potential support for SMS/MMS.
Microsoft has also introduced a similar feature in its keyboard app, SwiftKey, enabling users to compose text messages and emails by selecting the Bing icon within the app’s toolbar. It provides the ability to customize the tone, format, and length of suggested messages.