Mysterious Homescreen Icon In Android 5.0 Is Actually Google's New "Messenger" App For SMS / MMS


Google has announced its Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices earlier today and along with those devices a new version of company's operating system, Android 5.0. Lollipop. Ever since the Nexus 6 render leaked a few days ago people have been wondering about a new icon that was shown on its homescreen that they haven't seen before, I did as well. Many people actually started panicking that this app will replace Hangouts or something to that extent, but that was unfounded considering Hangouts is a huge brand at this point and I don't know what would need to happen in order for Google to shut it down. Anyhow, It turns out this is a new "Messenger" app from Google which will handle SMS and MMS messages on Android in Android 5.0.

"Messenger and Hangouts offer users choice, each have their own benefits. Hangouts work great for cross platform (web, iOS, Android) and cross medium communications (video, voice, messaging, SMS). Messenger will be specially designed to be a quick and easy way to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android; more to come (The Nexus 6 will come with both apps)." said Google spokesperson. So, to sum up, Hangouts is staying put and Messenger is the new kid in town. It seems like Google's SMS integration with Hangouts didn't go as well as they planned so they had to offer a separate app for that. I can see why, this is a more clean way of doing it without creating additional confusion by integrating it with Hangouts, I've personally always used SMS and MMS separate from Hangouts as well and regular consumers have probably gotten used to a separate app so this confused them a whole lot.

This app really doesn't do anything besides SMS and MMS, at least for now. There's a chance Google has some additional plans for it, who knows, but I guess we'll find out soon as there's always the possibility that Google might unveil it separately, even if it's a very small possibility. Do you use Hangouts as your SMS and MMS app or do you rely on a separate app for that? Do you think Google intends to use this "Messenger" app for something other than SMS and MMS?

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Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]