Google Messages will auto-delete OTPs and sort like Gmail, but only in India

Google is updating its Messages app in India to allow it to delete one-time passwords (OTPs) automatically, to stop the single-use codes from clogging up your inbox, the company has announced. Alongside it, Google also says the app will be able to sort messages into categories, keeping your personal correspondence away from notifications about bank transactions and special offers.

As someone that almost exclusively uses WhatsApp for personal communication, my phone’s default texting app is typically a graveyard of six-digit codes, which by design become useless mere minutes after they’re received. Having the ability to automatically delete them after 24 hours should make Messages less cluttered and more usable.

It’s a similar story when it comes to categorizing messages. Google says it’s using a machine learning model to sort messages into categories like personal, transactions, OTPs, and offers, which sounds very similar to what it already offers for emails in Gmail. The sorting process happens on-device, Google says, so it should still work while offline.

Google says the new features will roll out “over the coming weeks” in India, on Android phones running version 8 and above. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on whether the feature could see a release outside of the country.

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