Google Assistant has been rather barebones once it involves reading and replying to any message that wasn’t sent to Android’s stock Messages or the Google Hangouts applications. If you used anything else, issuing a command like “read my messages” would completely ignore anything sent to you over even the most popular messaging applications for Android. This meant anything sent from applications including WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Signal, WeChat, and many others were simply ignored by the Google Assistant.
According to Android Police and 91mobiles, it has been noticed that Google is rolling out the option to read messages from non-Google apps like the ones mentioned above. Users can dictate or type out replies, and there seems to be little support for languages beyond English.
Reportedly, the feature might not be widely available as of this writing, so don’t be surprised if Assistant scratches its head when you ask for an answer. This could be a massive upgrade for a few folks whenever it does arrive, though. The read-aloud feature is especially helpful when you are driving, cooking or otherwise have your hands full. You might not have to touch the phone just to find out if a Telegram message needed an immediate response.
You will realize when this feature is working on your device because after issuing the “read my messages” command you will see a prompt appear that asks you if you wish to let Google Assistant have access to your Notification data. That’s the sole approach Google Assistant can read these messages to you, it’s simply accessing the notification data (not going into the app itself). Therefore, if a message contains photos, videos, or audio then the Google Assistant will say “the message simply contains a (media type) attachment” and won’t be able to play or show it to you.
Still, it’s nice to see Google finally expanding this support to more messaging platforms.