Google has brought some new intuitive goodness to the Android Messages today with an update for the rich communications text messaging app, bringing the current version to 2.2. The improvements come mostly in the form of user interface changes. Google's intention here is obviously to make using the app, sharing photos and media, and starting group conversations a much easier task.
In total, there are four easy to notice changes that have been made to the application. Half of those changes pertain directly to the options a user has for starting or adding to a group conversation. First, accessing the overflow menu - that's the three-dot menu in the upper corner - while in conversation view and selecting "People & options"now reveals a button that adds people to a given conversation. After tapping the button a selector will appear, showing contacts that can be chosen to add to the current conversation. In addition to that option already being much more straightforward than the previous layout, starting a new conversation in the app will also now show a distinct button for starting a group conversation directly instead of pushing a user straight to the "choose a contact" menu. Beyond the changes made to getting a discussion going and adding more people, Google has also made some design changes. There are two notable changes. First, an icon appears when users are selecting a photo to share. The change makes switching back to typing much easier. Other icons have changed as well. Where only a thin-lined, lightly colored "plus icon" used to indicate a way for users to add images, stickers, and other non-text within a conversation, there is now a plus with a circle around it. The circle changes colors with the theme of a given conversation, making it much easier to see.
The update was officially released today - April 24. However, if the update hasn't hit your device just yet, you shouldn't worry too much. As with nearly all app updates, a rollout can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Apps with larger audiences, such as Android Messages, can take longer than others. In the meantime, you can check the play store link below to see if it has arrived yet for you.