Google has been busy lately updating its apps. Not only has the tech giant made enhancements to the main Google app, it has also updated its Google Keyboard app as well.
And now, Google is releasing a new Messenger app, which is now available for download from Google Play. Messenger is a nifty instant messaging tool that lets users send and receive SMS and MMS messages, participate in group chat conversations, create and transmit audio messages, and many others.
What does the new Messenger app offer?
First off, it facilitates faster sharing. Users can pick any picture or video directly from the Messenger app and easily share it their friends, family, or other contacts. They can even create and send audio messages.
Secondly, the search functionality is spot on. No surprise here, considering that search is Google's expertise after all. But with this new Messenger app, users can search through their list of contacts or through the messages archives and conversation threads more easily.
Then there is the design. Much has been written about Android 5.0 Lollipop's Material Design, the sum of all improvements in the design of the user interface of the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. Well, Google is adapting that approach with its Messenger app. This means that users can expect a cleaner, more consistent layout, eye-popping colors and animations, and a more optimized overall user experience.
Also, Google is clearly taking customer feedback seriously. Control has always been something that users want more of in any instant messaging platform. With the new Messenger app, users have more control in filtering their messages -- they can block SMS senders or simply set the Messenger app to prevent interruptions caused by unwanted messages or alerts.
Other features of the new Messenger app include audio messages, emoji support, colored text threads, message archiving, and a whole lot more.
But wait -- what about Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts was partly developed as a messaging tool to be integrated with the Gmail email service. But a lot of users find Hangouts a bit too complex and well, a tad too slow sometimes.
The new Messenger app promises to be a simpler and quicker alternative to Hangouts. Plus, it is a messaging platform designed to stand on its own, without having to be integrated to another existing platform.
Lastly, what's great about the new Messenger app is that you won't need to get updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop in order to use this messaging tool. You just need to download it from Google Play, provided that your device runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above.
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