AH Google Messenger

Google Messenger Update Hints At Marshmallow for Android Wear

February 4, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Where app updates are concerned, it’s unsurprising that Google happens to be one of the more prolific and frequent updaters around. While the majority of their updates might just be bug fixes and the like, there are often some hidden gems to be had, and a lot of their updates lay the groundwork for a bigger, more feature-oriented update to launch at a later date. This practice of Google’s has led to the teardown of APK files, cracking things open to see if there are any hints being left in the code for future releases. The focus of yet another APK teardown this time is the Google Messenger app, not to be confused with Hangouts.

Messenger was introduced as a new version of the old, old SMS app that comes with Android as standard, and it was designed to fully-embrace Material Design found in Android 5.0 Lollipop and above, as well as offer those in emerging markets a better SMS experience on their devices. The app has undergone a few big updates since it launched, and it now appears as though the app is ready for a more fully-featured experience on Android Wear once those watches get their update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. As Android Police have discovered, the latest version of Messenger (v 1.7.049) includes something known as a micro-APK, specific to Android Wear. A micro-APK is essentially the small part of an Android app that gets sent to an Android Wear device, but this micro-APK needs an API level of 23 or above, 23 being the magic number of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Just what this new app does is unclear, as there are no Android Wear watches out there running Android 6.0 Marshmallow to find out. It’s more than likely however that the app will be similar to the Hangouts app on Android Wear that allows people to take a look at conversations in their entirety on their wrists. For some, this will be a welcome feature as a lot of people have been looking for better SMS apps on Android Wear, and a first-party solution would be nice to see. Otherwise, the Messenger update is simply a bug fix update, but when Android Wear gets updated to Marshmallow it could become a lot more useful.