Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads Feature Will Use Android 11 Bubbles API

Facebook introduced a new feature called Chat Heads to the Messenger app back in the year 2013. The chat heads feature allows the users to engage in multiple Messenger chats without having to jump back and forth between various applications.

With the chat heads feature, you can continue a chat while also multitasking on other various websites or apps. The company has been using its own custom overlay solution for the feature since the year 2013. However, the latest beta version update of Messenger indicates that the app switching to Android 11 Bubbles API.

Hani Mohamed Bioud first spotted the new change and according to him, the latest beta version of the Messenger app comes with a new setting for users to enable the Bubbles functionality. When you will click on the new setting, you will be taken to the next screen. Now, you can choose the conversations for which you want the floating chat heads to appear on your screen. The Android notification setting of the Messenger app will also display a new Bubbles sub-category.

With the new settings, you will be provided three options. The first option says, ‘All conversations can bubble’ which means that every conversation with your friends can appear in the form of a floating chat head. With the second option, you can choose to pick specific conversations that can bubble while the third option says that nothing can bubble.

With the latest update, a new icon has been added to the notification shade of the Messenger app. With this new icon, users can switch back to a particular chat head if a user has dismissed the chat bubble unintentionally. After the new updates will be implemented to the Messenger app, not much would seem different for the users. This means that if you are familiar with the regular Chat Heads system of the Messenger app, you will not notice any change. Users will still be able to access collapsible chat bubbles that they can move around their device’s screen.

If you want the new changes to be operational on your device, you should be using an Android smartphone running the Android 11 developer preview or beta. You will also have to download the beta version of the Messenger app on your Android device. XDA-developers has also confirmed that the new feature works on Pixel 3a XL as well as Pixel 4 XL. When you will tap on a bubble, a floating window will appear where you can conveniently type a reply and keep a specific chat alive even while multitasking on other apps or websites.

The Bubbles API debuted with the developer previews of Android 10 back in 2019. However, the Bubbles API remained almost dormant until Android 11 enable the Bubble API by default. We expect that, with native support in Android 11, those applications that tap into the new Application Programming Interface will offer a more consistent behavior.

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