Google has updated its Phone app to add a popular multi-tasking feature.
Version 17 of the company’s phone app, only available on Pixel, Nexus and Android One smartphones, adds chat head functionality.
If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger or any number of other chat apps, then the idea behind chat heads should be intimately familiar.
Chat heads allow users to keep track of one or more conversations while on their home screen or in another app.
Pressing the home button with the latest Google Phone app will create a chat head, which users can freely move around their smartphone’s home screen. The chat head will feature a picture of the person to whom the user is talking. Tapping on the icon will display a drop-down menu which gives users the options to return to their call, mute their call, switch the call to speakerphone or simply hang up.
Chat heads as we recognize them today were popularized by Facebook back in 2013 as part of an Android lock screen app the company created called Facebook Home. Now defunct, the app bundled together SMS text messages with Messenger chats.
Since then, the feature has become popular with a variety of other chat apps, but, for most people, the feature is still most closely associated with social media giant’s Messenger app.
Download the Google Phone app from the Play Store.