Google Messenger, The New SMS / MMS Client, Gets Looked At

We've written a little about the new Google Messenger application that was originally spotted on leaked Nexus 6 images. Originally, we wondered what the blue and white icon was for? Would it replace Google Hangouts? We now know that it's going to replace the standard messenger application and it's been "specially designed to be a quick and easy way to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android." The application hasn't been released yet as it's still under testing but Android Police have taken a look at a pre-released version. The interface follows the standards set up Hangouts and Gmail in that one can easily dismiss messages with a swipe to the side. Contact profiles are showing or a large letter at the start of their name if there isn't a profile picture. These avatars are available in different colours; if a contact has a green circle around them, this means that the toolbar, incoming word bubbles, attachment menu and conversation specific settings.

Google Messenger appears to be a straightforward swap for the old messenger application with almost identical settings and preferences. One thing we spotted is the option to remove old messages when storage is low rather than a numerical limit. Older, slow devices had a sensible limit placed but modern devices are far more capable at handling tens of thousands of text messages. By all accounts, the pre-release version of Google Messenger is basic with little in the way of flourish, but it is perhaps only to replace the original messaging application and bring it into line with the rest of the device. If you currently use Hangouts for your text messages, you're not likely to switch to Messenger and on the Nexus 6, you might find it annoying that you have both applications on the device. Or perhaps Google are preparing additional features perhaps synchronising text messages across different devices - but as it stands, I don't see any reason why one would use Google Messenger over and above Hangouts or indeed any of the other text messaging applications.

Do you use Hangouts for your text messaging? Or the stock application that came with your device? Perhaps you use a third party application? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what you use and if you would give Google Messenger a go when it's released.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.