The mystery Android L icon is an updated stock Messenger app, Hangouts still around

The mystery Android L icon is an updated stock Messenger app, Hangouts still around
Early on, when we started seeing leaks of the Nexus 6 and Android L (now known to be 5.0 Lollipop), there was a mysterious new icon on the home screen, which began to fuel speculation that Google might have a new messaging app in the works. Now we have some questions answered. We know what the icon is, but we don't yet know anything new about the possible WhatsApp style app claimed to be part of Android One.

It turns out that the new icon is actually something more strange than we first thought: its an update to the stock Android SMS app. The app used to be called Messaging, and has now been rebranded as Messenger. This is strange because Google has been putting almost no effort into the stock Android apps for a while, and has been focusing more on its suite of Google apps. A Google spokesperson said that it is a matter of choice: 


The spokesperson also confirmed that Hangouts will be included on the Nexus 6 in addition to the Messenger app. This isn't a surprise because the stock Email app is always included along with the Gmail app. Still, it's good to know what's going on. 

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6 Comments

1. TBomb

Posts: 1212; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

should I be surprised that Android hasn't forced a iMessage type of communication on its users? or is this what hangouts is? I never used hangouts so I don't know

3. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

It seemed like they were getting awfully close to forcing Hangouts, but then they removed the G+ requirement, and now this. Good to see they are updating/relaunching a stock sms/mms app. I only use Hangouts but it sometime has issues with mms and I have to download them. I love being able to chat via the extention in the desktop version of Chrome so it looks like I'm working instead of texting on my phone...

2. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

What most people don't realize is that Google Apps (like hangouts) and Android OS are not the same. You can use Android OS (like Amazon Fire OS, MIUI, etc) and don't use any of the gApps. This is the main reason google cannot just use a improved version of hangouts in their system and don't offer a simples SMS+MMS app. AOSP doesn't even come with gApps by default, and user need to sideload it to use play store and stuff...

4. wolverinexmen9

Posts: 112; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

Cool!

5. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

would it be confusing to have Hangouts and Messenger as the two separate apps, one just for between Android users, and another one for cross platform (re; Hangouts which not so many people use it due to the fact that cross platform app like Whatsapp is way more popular than Hangouts ?)

6. yoeasie

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

Hangouts hasn't "offered" anything major for the regular android user to even care about it. Was pointless from the beginning. I've seen "few" people use it and one reason a person had was because it let's them use emojis....

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