Google Messages just gave us the Android texting feature we've wanted forever

Here's how to schedule a text message down to the exact minute, so you'll never forget to say happy birthday to Mom again.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

Have you ever forgotten to send a happy birthday text message to a friend? Or had an idea in the middle of the night that you desperately wanted to share with co-workers but didn't want to risk waking them if their ringer was on? The next time that happens, use Google Messages' new scheduling tool to pick the exact time and date you want to send a message. 

The text message scheduler is one of several new Google updates to its Android apps. Google announced updates to several of its Android apps in February, including Google Maps, Google Assistant and TalkBack

Before you can schedule a message, you'll need to have the latest version of Google Messages installed on your phone. Note that this feature will not work with your phone's default text message app, only Google Messages. If you don't know how to change your default messaging app, don't worry -- the first time you open Google Messages you'll be asked if you want to make the switch. The easiest way make sure you've got the latest version of Messages is to open the Play Store app go to My Apps and check for updates. (I have the new feature with Messages version 7.4.050.) 

Below I'll show you how to schedule a text message, including picking a custom send time and how to edit the message if you want to change anything. 


Scheduling a message is easy peasy. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

How to schedule a text with the Google Messages app

The first time you launch the Google Messages app and open a conversation after updating to the latest version, you'll see a small pop-up window appear over the Send button letting you know you can schedule messages. This is similar to what you see with scheduling an email in Gmail.

To schedule a text, start typing your message then long-press the Send button. I recommend picking the scheduled time before you fully compose your message, so you don't write out the message and accidentally send it.

After you long-press on Send, you'll see a pop-up with preselected dates and times. You can go with one of those suggestions, or tap Pick date and time. That will open Android's date and time picker that lets you customize when the message will be sent, to the minute. (Handy if you want to wish someone happy birthday at the exact minute they were born.)

Once you're done setting the time, tap Save

You can then finish writing out your message. You're not limited to scheduling only text messages, but you can also add pictures and videos. When you're done, tap the Send button, which should now have a small clock icon on top of the paper airplane. 


You can always edit a message. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

How to view, edit or delete a scheduled text message

A scheduled message will appear in your conversation thread, however, it will have a clock next to it and a note that says Scheduled message underneath it. You can hide the message with a tap on Scheduled message if you prefer. 

To edit the message or the scheduled delivery time, tap the clock icon. A menu with three options will show up. Those options are update message, send now or delete message. 

Update message will let you edit the text or pick a different time. Send now will immediately send the message. Delete message will discard the text. 

Being able to schedule a message is a feature that's sure to be useful, especially if you often remember to send a message at an inconvenient time and then end up forgetting. 

Google Messages is a powerful text messaging app that has more tricks up its sleeve, like Google's Chat feature that adds iMessage-like features to Android. Android 12 was also recently announced, and there's a lot to look forward to when it launches later this year. Or, if you're brave enough, you can install it now.