Google Chat’s custom statuses are now live on mobile devices
This story was originally published and last updated .
Joining the likes of 2006-era MSN Messenger and Google Hangouts (which it replaces), Google Chat has picked up support for custom statuses. Previously teased as part of the “Spaces” tweak expected to roll out this summer, the feature is live in both Google Chat and Gmail, allowing for custom text, emojis, and dates for your status. After arriving on the web apps earlier this summer, both Android clients now have access to statuses as well.
The process, first spotted by AP Alumnus Ron Amadeo, is pretty simple. In the Google Chat web app and Gmail, you have a status chooser near the top right corner. Click it, and together with the pre-defined automatic, do not disturb, and away options, you should see a new “add a status” option. Click that, and you can choose from either a handful of suggestions or create your own status from scratch, assigning it an emoji and text.
You also have to set a custom time to clear the status. There are a few presets like thirty minutes and “today,” but you can also open a material-themed calendar picker and set a custom date and time. That makes it handy for things like vacation, unexpected events, or even potentially for coordinating things with teammates.
The new statuses are still at least a tiny bit buggy as well. While testing the custom statuses with a buddy of mine (Thanks: Sam Griffin), the emoji status disappeared for him at one point, though it mostly worked otherwise, with the custom status appearing as expected beneath my name in the conversation view.
Custom statuses in the Google Chat web app (above) and Gmail (below).
Although custom statuses were initially locked to the web, Gmail and Chat on Android also support the feature now (via 9to5Google). You can find the option to add a status in either app on your phone from the main navigation panel, though for Gmail, you’ll need to make sure you’ve enabled Chat in your settings menu before it appears.
It works just like the desktop version, with a handful of suggested choices for commuting or vacationing. You can also write your own, complete with your choice of time frame.
No matter which app you use, the menu itself is identical. With your away message set, you’ll see “Add a status” replaced with whatever you’ve currently selected. Although it took nearly a month and a half to reach the Android versions of Gmail and Chat, it’s nice to see both web and mobile clients catch up to each other — especially as Hangouts continues to be replaced by Google’s latest messaging obsession.