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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to use message bubbles in a 3.0 user interface to turn all conversations into a pop-up chat «Android :: Gadget Hack

How to use message bubbles in a 3.0 user interface to turn all conversations into a pop-up chat «Android :: Gadget Hack

From surfing social media to creating movies, your smartphone can do everything. But even with all that power, it is used for many primarily to communicate with others, especially via text. In a 3.0 user interface, Samsung and Google drastically changed this core feature with a new feature called notification bubbles.

Bubbles are basically a clone of Facebook Messenger chat heads, except that they work with any support messaging program. They also resemble Samsung’s “Smart Pop-Up View” feature, which they actually replace by default. But they are not as simple as you might expect, so here is a guide to get you started.

Step 1
: Transform a chat thread into a notification bubble

When a new message arrives, expand it completely by either swiping down the alert or by selecting the down arrow in the upper right corner of the message.

On the right side of the message is a new icon that shows an arrow in a rectangle. Select this to turn this message thread into a floating bubble.

Step 2: Start messages via Bubble Interface

Once a bubble has been created, the profile picture of either the individual or the group is displayed as an icon that is placed on top of your apps. You will also see the message service icon at the bottom right of the image. If they do not have an image, the message application icon is displayed.

This chat bubble can be moved to any position along the left and right edges of the screen. When a new message appears, the message will appear from the bubble that you can read. It will also appear in the message shadow.

When you select the bubble, a small window is created that is about the same width as your screen. It contains a thumbnail version of the message thread, just as it appears when you open the app. You can do everything you can do as if the app were full screen. However, you can not leave the thread from the bubble.

To leave the thread, simply press the bubble again. This closes the thread but keeps the bubble active. To get rid of the bubble, you can either select the back arrow in the thread, or while the chat interface is closed, drag the bubble to “X” at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Create multiple bubbles for different conversations

Bubbles are not limited to just one conversation. You can create multiple chat thread bubbles in either the same app or different apps – just tap the same icon in the fully extended message (shown in step 1).

Open bubbles are displayed stacked on top of each other, with the latest message at the front. Taping this bundle of bubbles shows the same pop-up window, but with multiple icons – one for each bubble chat. Select a bubble to switch to that conversation, or tap the icon for the current conversation to close it.

Step 4: Manage your bubbles

Let’s say you do not want a particular thread to appear as a bubble anymore. There are a few ways to do this. First, you can wait for a new message to come out of the thread and select the icon on the right, which should now be a rectangle with a northwest arrow.

Another way is to open Settings -> Messaging -> Advanced settings -> Conversations. Select the conversation you want to change and disable “Bubble this conversation.” This menu also opens up a variety of other options, such as changing the status of thread notifications, making it appear as a popup, and more.

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Cover image by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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