The Google Messenger messaging app has now been renamed to "Android Messages." The change was introduced through a client-side update that started rolling out on Thursday and should already be available for download from the Google Play Store in all parts of the world. The company's decision to change the name of its messaging app was likely prompted by several different reasons. For starters, Google recently started pushing for a deeper integration of the app into the Android operating system, meaning it makes more sense for the app to bear the Android branding. Furthermore, it's possible that some users were confusing Google Messenger with Facebook's Messenger, and renaming the app to Android Messages solves that issue. While the Google Play Store listing refers to the app as "Android Messages," the actual app will only appear as "Messages" in your app drawer once you install it.
The fact that Google removed its branding from the app while recently updating it with default RCS support suggests that the Mountain View-based tech giant is preparing for another major push of its latest messaging solution as the company is reportedly already trying to convince original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to include the app with their upcoming devices. Recent reports suggest that some OEMs like Sony, LG, HTC, and Nokia already agreed to do that. Apart from the name change, the latest Android Messages update doesn't seem to be packing any major features. The changelog listed on the Google Play Store only mentions a new sing-up procedure for enhanced messaging features on certain networks, as well as bug fixes and optimizations, but doesn't go into any details regarding either.
While this particular update didn't significantly enhance the functionality of Android Messages, that isn't to say that Google isn't constantly working on new features for its messaging solution. The company recently introduced new interface tweaks and other additions designed to improve the overall user experience of the app and has also been actively promoting its RCS initiative. With that in mind, more useful additions to Android Messages will likely follow sooner rather than later and in the meantime, you can download the app by following the link below.