Say goodbye to Messenger: Google's SMS app is now Android Messages

Say goodbye to Messenger: Google's SMS app is now Android Messages
Google certainly has a problem with its messaging apps – that is, there are way too many of them: there's Allo, Duo, Hangouts, Youtube, and also Messenger. And now, to further add to the confusion, the company has chosen to change the name of the latter, which is now called Android Messages.

Messenger is Google's default SMS app, and can be found preinstalled on many devices running stock or near-stock Android, such as the Google Pixel. The name change is not that surprising, really – the other Messenger, that is,  Facebook's, is a much more popular app, and it's easy to see why Google would want to differentiate between the two. Still, the sudden change is one of many examples of the company simply deciding something and immediately doing it – another such example would be the renaming of Google Keyboard to Gboard. Admittedly, this is far from a major problem, but it would still be nice to get some warning next time.

The latest version of Messenger Android Messages, v2.0.770, is now available in the Play Store. The changelog for the update also lists "Simpler sign-up for enhanced features on supported carriers", as well as the classic "Bug fixes and stability improvements".



1. JocularJ

Posts: 222; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Other than a name change, there are no changes to the form or function of the app? Especially with the new name I would like to see more customization options ...

6. Enadhof

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 07, 2016

They did do an announcement of sorts. There are several OEM'S who have committed to having Android messages as their default messaging app. Such as HTC, LG, Sony and ZTE. They also were talking up RCS messaging to replace SMS/MMS. The Verge did a far better job reporting on this but I can't post the link due to

7. Enadhof

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 07, 2016

*less than 30 posts

2. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Google has lost it's focus in the social side. There is too many apps trying to be the same thing. And all of them are half completed and then deprecated.

3. TerryTerius unregistered

That is one of the downsides of Google's experimental nature. I have no problem with them trying new things to see what works, but they often seem to wander away from projects and get distracted by other things. And you are right, when they spread their services out like that unnecessarily it minimizes the usefulness of each individual app. I don't see a real reason for them to have allo, duo, messenger, and hangouts. Would it have really been that difficult to put everything in one app? Apple, Facebook, and BlackBerry have basically managed that, I genuinely don't understand why it seems to be so hard for Google. That's always annoyed me about android, I want a unified all in one messenger from them much like iMessage is for iOS.

14. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Hangouts is an all in one messaging app and works great. The problem is that Google fumbled the initial introduction of Hangouts and have compounded the problem by introducing different apps that all do what Hangouts already does.

15. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Even with a high end, Hangouts still lags. My heart still goes to Textra.

4. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

goodbye messenger

5. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

i actually like what you did here :-) the new name should be "goodbye messenger"

8. aegislash

Posts: 1531; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Android Messages sounds like a malware bloated third party SMS app you'd find deep within the play store. Google Messenger was definitely a better name, but oh well...

9. JocularJ

Posts: 222; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Next Gmail is going to get a name change to Android Mail

11. IT-Engineer

Posts: 579; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

i don't see anything wrong with that, but i highly doubt it since Gmail is available on IOS too, so they won't call it Android Mail.

12. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Or surveillance mailbox

10. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 2009

i understand that SMS and internet messaging (whatsapp, line, viber, etc) are different platforms, but otherwise i dont know why - for a company of google stature - they can't have one-internet communication-app for all... i mean skype and now whatsapp are able to do messaging, voice-call, and video call....

13. curtdragon

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 13, 2014

Not interested until they sync with Google Fi

16. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1348; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

They have Android messages and hangouts, these two need to be integrated into allo and duo and be done with it.

17. yyzamin

Posts: 383; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Google should stick to what they are good at. Another failing message app is being rebranded only to fail again and be rebranded yet again.

18. dmitrilp_

Posts: 330; Member since: Sep 12, 2016

Google should just stick with making Android for other manufactures, they SUCK big time at making their own stuff. I can't stand hangouts, the pixel crappy phone and some other stuff.

19. jjwieland

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

For some reason, Android Messages is unable to mark a message as actually having been read. I've gone back to the old Messenger that gets installed with Lineage OS & Open GApps.

20. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I dunno, I actually like Verizon's Messages+ better than Android Messenger/ Messages... If anything that's one of the few apps Verizon got right and hopefully won't screw it up in future updates.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.