Patch: Settings for Messages layout

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Adds features to Messages app:

  • option to swap sides of sent and received messages; i.e. to have received messages on the left and the sent ones on the right;
  • option to have date and time for IMs which sets alignments just like SMSes;
  • option to display contact avatar as the conversation background (thanks Niccco following Coderus's patch)
  • option to show bubbles
  • settings for bubble opacity
  • option for context-aware text alignment in message bubbles
  • option for press and hold to send message
  • moves character counter to somewhere near the Send button to make it easier for eyes to check SMS pages before sending
  • shows cover action also on single message cover
  • shows an additional cover action in single message view to go back to main page


Help translate into your language!
Currently available in Chinese (China), Czech, Dutch, Dutch (Belgium), English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish. Thanks translation team!

After applying the patch, restart Settings app and go to Settings > Apps > Messages.

Requires patchamanger

Thanks @Dax89, I used SailorGram revese color function for link color.
Source on GitHub.
Donations are welcome ;)

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3.0.0-4: Updated Finnish, Polish + added Chinese (China) **Happy New Year**

3.0.0-3: Updated translations: Dutch, Slovenian, Spanish


  • Updated for SFOS 3
  • Added an option to display contact avatar in the conversation background
  • Updated colors to support light themes
  • Options now under an extending section

2.2.0-2: SFOS compatibility update + Solved compatibility issue with patchmanager 3

2.1.4-10: Added a cover action to single message view to go back to main page + Updated translations


  • Added option to use context-aware text alignment in message bubbles
  • Single message cover fixed, showing more lines
  • Updated translations, added Slovenian

2.1.4-4 - Layout settings now available in Flight Mode or with No SIM card


  • Update version numbers based on SFOS version
  • Bubble opacity now affects cover as well
  • Updated translations, added Dutch, Hungarian

0.7-1: Updated for SFOS 2.1.3 (Only due to two spaces, it's just unfair!)

0.6-1: Updated for SFOS 2.1.2
Updated for SFOS 2.1.0

0.4-1: Show cover action also on single message cover


  • Solved conflict with SFOS 2.0.5
  • Updated translations: Italian, Russian


  • Updated for SFOS 2.0.2
  • Added option to press and hold to send
  • Added option for bubble opacity


  • Updated bubble colors to make it consistent with SailorGram (white for inbound and theme highlight for outbound)
  • Added bubble pointers
  • Requires SFOS 2.0.1 (due to icons for bubble pointers)


  • Bug fixes: bubble link color, retry icon color, increased vertical padding between bubbles
  • Added translations: Czech, Swedish, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Polish, Italian, Finnish


manchevgeorgi's picture

I'll check it on my JP1 tommorow because it's not yet updated. The output was from Aquafish.

manchevgeorgi's picture

Just installed the update on my JP1, may be you just need to free up few hunders mb of space :)

Cheers :)

alina's picture

Good news: I've updated my phone as well as the patch. Soon I'll publish it with updated languages.

manchevgeorgi's picture

alina's picture

Sorry folks, I couldn't update my phone, probably due to Internet censorship in my country. :-/ Each time I try, I get the update installation fail and then 370 MB download again. Seems to me a download fail, but don't know why it leads me to installing.

vpp612's picture

btrfs-balancer allocation          ; then 
btrfs-balancer balance

I had this issue. All memory used.

rdomschk's picture

Hi, could you update this very nice patch please? Or could you say, how can I/we make the small change for by myself please. In the file "unified_diff.patch"? Thanks in advance!

vsimonkay's picture

Please upgrade for Lapuanjoki. Thx a lot!

mz_i_norge's picture

This patch is not working after update to on Jolla C. Please update this great patch. Thanks! :-)

vpp612's picture

The latest Sailfish version missing this great patch is

saba's picture

Can't apply patch on Xperia X running

atlochowski's picture

@alina It stops working again after update to newest version Jolla again made some changes in one file.

vpp612's picture

The same happened with version on Jolla 1.

vpp612's picture

Thanks a lot for the newest version!

objectifnul's picture

In the change log, I think "0.6-1: Updated for SFOS 2.1.3 (Only due to two spaces, it's just unfair!)" should be "0.7-1: Updated for SFOS 2.1.3 (Only due to two spaces, it's just unfair!)"

gaelic's picture

Unfortunately qml changed again with 2.1.3 :(

alina's picture

Oh, it's a real pain!

vpp612's picture

I agree, but is it possible to get an update again, because this patch is the most useful I've seen during my time of Jolla/SFOS user. Thanks a lot!

olf's picture


olf's picture

Thanks for v0.6-1, which applies fine under SailfishOS

R1v3r's picture

Works also on Jolla C now, when I found out that update does not found, but it had to "upgrade"

alina's picture

Every version of the patch has a least SFOS version requirement to avoid compatibility issues; i.e. two devices with different SFOS versions can enjoy the same patch using different versions of the patch.

rdomschk's picture

Nice patch - Thank You

Could you update this for because it is not possible to activate it now. I think some qml files under /usr/share/jolla-messages/ are changed. Thanks a lot

olf's picture

+1: Please update this nice and useful Patch to apply under SFOS

olf's picture

All features of this Patch advertised here are working well and constitute a significant enhancement of the Jolla Messages app look & feel.  Kudos to you, Alina, for this effort. 

But in the description of your Patch "Remove white background from Messages cover" you state, "Merged in Settings for Messages Layout patch to enable text background consistently on cover and inside.", but with the recent version of "Settings for Messages layout" (v0.5-1) installed on my Jolla 1 phone under SFOS, the white background is removed in the Messages app, but *not* on its cover, and I am unable to find the a setting for disabling the white background of the messages on the Messages app cover in Settings --> Apps --> Messages.

Actually a setting is not needed IMHO, the white background should just be consistently removed in the Messages app and on its cover.
So can you please reactivate (or adapt) the code from "Remove white background from Messages cover" in "Settings for Message ms layout", again.  Or am I missing something or doing something wrong?


alina's picture

As you say, a separate setting entry isn't needed and the patch should work as you expect; i.e. remove white background both in app and on cover by disabling text bubbles in settings. I will check the code again as it works well in my Jolla.

olf's picture

> > [...] Or am I missing something or doing something wrong?
> [...] the patch should work as you expect; i.e. remove white background both in app and on cover by disabling text bubbles in settings.
It does.

Sorry, this turned out to be a minor usability issue (but not a technical one), as I perceive the explanation "Increases message legibility showing rectangular backgrounds" of the setting "Text bubbles" somewhat hard to comprehend. Maybe "Increase readability of message text by highlighted background" is easier to understand.

But, while one can disable the "Text bubbles" (and this is, what I wanted: Thanks!), having it enabled does not seem to work properly:

  • There are no "Text bubbles" in the Messages app, only on its cover.
  • Altering the "Opacity" slider does not seem to change the opacity of the message text background.

Thanks for your help.

alina's picture

Your efforts and suggestions are much appreciated. About your last two points:

  • The bubbles are shown in conversations not in the main page. I can work on it to add them also to the main page.
  • The opacity affects again only the conversations not the cover. I should add this too.
olf's picture

Well, I am happy since you pointed out how to switch the the white background off.
So my primary suggestion is still to enhance the description of "Text bubbles" to "Increase readability of message text by highlighted background" or so, no matter if you are going to change anything technical or not.

IMHO the two technical enhancements you are considering would add consistency WRT look & feel, in line with your old statement (for the predecessor patch): "Merged in Settings for Messages Layout patch to enable text background *consistently* on cover *and* inside."

Alternatively (and with much less effort) you may change nothing technically, but also change the text string "Bubble opacity" to "Bubble opacity in conversations".
Although I have to admit that applying the text bubbles and their opacity setting consistently (cover, received list, conversations) sounds appealing (but personally I still prefer the look without them).

Anyway (regardless of how you decide to proceed), this Patch already is an extremely valuable enhancement of the look & feel of Jolla's Messages app. Thanks!

P.S. / Side note: IIRC the "Opacity" slider's default setting was "100%" (I am not sure though, as I played with this setting numerous times), which results in a harsh, very white look of the text bubble background.
IMO a value of 80% looks a bit softer and hence nicer, so that would be a more suitable default.

giskard's picture

Is it possible to add this patch to the web catalog of Patchmanager 2.0?