Google launched the Android Messaging app a couple of years ago, after getting rid of its open sourced messaging app and merging SMS with instant messaging in Hangouts. It was a brand new app, and one that is really only available on devices that run stock, or nearly stock Android - you are able to download it on other devices like the Galaxy Note 8 however. Now, according to the Play Store listing, Android Messages has hit 100 million downloads. Which isn't the biggest milestone, since a big chunk of Google's apps are in the 1 billion download area at this point. But it's still notable since most Android smartphones do come with its own messaging app.
Android Messages, when it launched, was a bit confusing. This is because Google is still not sure what it are doing with messaging at this point. It has tried a number of different approaches to messaging, which has included bringing SMS and IM together in Hangouts, which users didn't like. It has also included having an open sourced app in Android Messages, which users still aren't happy with since it means they have another app installed on their device. Google, currently, has a handful of messaging apps available. This includes Android Messages, Google Duo, Google Hangouts, just to name a few. Google Hangouts is still the most popular one at this point, and that's due to how long it has been around (and the app was actually Google Talk before that). Hopefully Google will get its messaging approach straightened out sometime soon.
While Android Messages does come pre-installed on Nexus and Pixel devices, as well as some Motorola smartphones and the Essential PH-1 smartphone, it is available for others to download and install. Since this is Android, you are able to download a new SMS app and make it the default on your smartphone - a feature that power users have been utilizing for many years on Android. So if you're not happy with the messaging app found on your Galaxy S8, LG V30 or any other device (that includes the Verizon Messages app), you can install Android Messages from the source link below.