Samsung users lost the ability to set custom ringtones for each thread in the default Samsung Messages app as of Android 8.0 Oreo, but it seems that the feature has made a return in the latest update. This update bumps the version number up to 188.8.131.52, and also brings a few small UI changes and some new sharing features. It's worth noting that there is still no ability to set a custom text ringtone for each contact, a common feature in third-party messaging apps. The updated Samsung Messages app is available now on Galaxy Apps, or you can simply sideload the APK file. As with most other Samsung apps, this one won't function properly on a non-Samsung phone, simply force closing on launch or refusing to install in most cases.
Using the revived feature works similarly to how it was before. When in a thread that you want to assign a ringtone to, simply crack open the conversation settings using the settings button in the corner, tap on Notifications, then check the radio button for Custom. From there, you can assign whatever sound byte you want as a ringtone, provided either it pops up in the default Samsung ringtone picker or you have another app you can use as a ringtone picker, such as ES File Explorer. Aside from being able to set custom ringtones again, users will also notice that there's a bit more white throughout the UI, with blue accents. This, of course, does not apply when you have a custom theme loaded. You can also set up quick responses. The Share menu, meanwhile, now holds a GIF search, stickers, and a small notepad for sending drawings. This means that you can now use whatever keyboard you like with the app and trust that you'll still be able to share GIFs and stickers with your friends. If you happen to have a Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+, you'll also find AR Emoji functionality built into the new update.
Samsung's internal app suite is made to complement the capabilities and style of its phone lineup, and this app does a great job of that. The same can be said of Good Lock, a customization app that recently made its return. All of this hinged on a reworking and rebranding of TouchWiz to the Samsung Experience, which happened with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the mass updating of Samsung phones to Android 7.0 Nougat.