Google releases standalone Messenger app for Android
Messenger [Google Play] by Google Inc.
Released – November 12, 2014
Communication, price: free
All things Google make a lot of noise by default, so the new Messenger app that just landed on Google Play got its share of fame, too. Messenger comes pre-installed on new devices that ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, but Google also made it available to older devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and newer.
Messenger sports the all-new Material Design, and this is either a good, or a bad thing for you, depending on your color preferences. Some users report that the colors are ‘very in your face,’ and they would prefer a more subtle color scheme, but you can’t change that with Material Design. Somehow, Google has taken away the color scheme customization options even from its Inbox app; assuming everybody will love the new bold colors.
Feature-wise, Messenger lets you send and receive text messages and MMS with audio, images and videos. You can search for files directly from the app and send them without tapping into your carrier plan. Adding contacts is rather simple, and you can create group text messages.
Users will be able to block unwanted contacts from sending them messages. The app supports emoji, message archiving and colored text threads.
The app is not without its bugs, but considering it is brand new, Google will iron those out in the next updates. For example, it does not support .gif images, and does not display the number of unread messages. Neither is there a quick reply button, and some minor UI quibbles may pop up here and there, but if you love everything Google, you will love Messenger, too.
The app is likely to make a bad favor to Hangouts, but Google can’t sleep knowing there is still a chunk of your data that is not on its servers, so go ahead, give yourself in.