Google’s new Messenger app from Lollipop is now officially available for everyone



Hangouts run as the stock messaging app on Nexus phones is officially over. We saw a new Messaging app on the Nexus 6 many times, but it was never really mentioned in any official capacity. Today Google has published it in the Play Store for everyone running Android 4.1 and up. It’s about time Google made a decent SMS app.

Unlike Hangouts this app only does SMS. Many people have complained about using Hangouts for SMS, but there wasn’t any official alternatives from Google. This app is a nice simple messaging app without all the bells and whistles. It has a clean Material Design and smooth animations. Here’s a taste of what you get:

  • Faster sharing: Select or take pictures and videos directly from the app and share easily. You can even send audio messages to your contacts.
  • Easy search: Search through contacts and conversation threads to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • Purposeful design: New, fluid, material design that is intuitive and delightful.
  • More control: Ability to block SMS senders. No interruptions when you don’t want them!
  • More features: audio messages, emoji support

Here’s the Google Play link if you have 4.1 or above. Will you use this app or stick to Hangouts?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

Official: Moto X (2nd Gen) Pure Edition beginning to receive Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade

Previous article

Download: Google Keyboard updated with new Material Design themes

Next article

You may also like


  1. Bugging out like crazy on my Note 3. Importing my messages is making it jump all over the place. Please end up being smooth. :)

    Edit: It’s smooth now. Just let it settle in for a few.

  2. SMS suck. Why do they bother with it in 2014 is beyond me.

    1. Not everyone uses a messenger, when I need to talk to my family real quick without calling it is a lot easier to text them than it would be to get them to install and actually use hangouts.

      1. That’s once aspect. WhatsApp functions the same as an SMS/MMS text service, except with more features, and proper group support.

        Of course though, if you’re in a “1 bar, no data” connectivity zone you can always fall back to a quick “HELP” text over SMS for a few pennies :)

        1. Or in my case I have unlimited text and no roaming in my country so it is free even when I only have that 1 bar :P But yeah, the people I am talking about it would be like pulling teeth trying to get them to all use WhatsApp and on top of that not all of them have smart phones..

          1. People without smartphones probably don’t text much anyways :)
            Also, does your unlimited text plan work for international texts? I msg people in 8-10 countries without worry about it.

            The only real problem I have with any of the choices is that my mother sends me texts now from her iPhone with smileys and crap that don’t show up on my freaking phone. Even on Android, smileys/emoticons are displayed differently on each sms app (htc,samsung,stock,etc). I only started advocated whatsapp because the way the masses have started using txting has evolved a bit since the days of T9 typing.

          2. Its works in USA,Canada and Mexico unlimited. But honestly everyone I know outside of the country is more tech savy and has a smart phone. As for the texting without a smartphone, somehow people still do it… Not sure how though I never liked to text until I got a Sidekick myself.

    2. Because it’s on every phone out there and works without data. News flash in 2014 there are still plenty of people without smartphones. It also doesn’t require everyone to be on the same app/service.

    3. Seriously – what else would you send? I mean – send something more detailed in an email for chrissakes. Send pics or audios thru this if you have to. Since it still doesn’t support voice – I can’t use it though.

  3. Oh man, I love the animation when you send a message. It’s the little things.

  4. I’ve no idea what to do. I feel like such a sham because I moved all my friends and family to Hangouts. I’ll give it a go, but when Hangouts gets it’s inevitable Material makeover I think I’ll go back there – solely for convenience and the fact that it’s free and cross platform.

    1. Yeah, not having hangouts easily accessible in Messenger is annoying. I like being able to message anybody whenever I want.

      1. On that same hand, I have a lot of people on hangouts and a lot of people I text with so it is actually easier for me to have two so I keep them separate and have a shorter list to sort through.

    2. I’m giving it a shot. SMS in hangouts isn’t cross-platform anyway and I’m hoping a dedicated app will do a little better. Also, no more accidentally sending a hangout to someone who happens to use Gmail (but not hangouts) when I meant to send a text.

      1. Yes, that is a pain. You have to type in the phone number to force Hangouts to send it as SMS.

        1. Agreed.

      2. This is SMS/MMS and group functionality as well.

  5. So I guess us Google Voice users will continue to use Hangouts, while everyone else uses this?

    1. Eh I’m gonna stick with hangouts.

    2. This is compatible with Google Voice. No need for Hangouts.

  6. How is this better than my stock S5 messaging app? Legit question, not busting balls here.

    1. Does Samsung’s stock messaging app still jack up group texts like it used to?

      1. This messaging app has group messaging capabilities now.

  7. About time…I hate Hangouts. I want nothing to do with the G+ for everything mindset. I just want a simple SMS app to do one thing and do it well. Been using an older hacked messaging app. Have to give this one a try.

    1. Very pleased with Textra! It even has been updated with Material design. Checked this Google Messenger out . . . nah, I’ll stick with Textra! Fast, lean, and functional.

    2. I have nothing to do with G+ and have it disabled actually in the system and use hangouts perfectly, with google voice integration as well for calls. Idk why everyone has beef with hangouts? Its pretty fast and easy.. Can do everything in one app.

  8. Google seem to be operating a yo-yo strategy these days. They take it away, they put it back, they take it away…

    At each step they explain why it’s good for you that they’ve done this.

  9. Is this for people who don’t have Hangouts? I don’t understand. All of my texts go through Hangouts. What is the point of this?

    1. This is a blessing for me and I do use Hangouts as my go to SMS and IM app, but because I’ve integrated my Google Voice and Hangouts together I no longer have the option to choose to send an SMS from my carrier number in Hangouts. I’ve tried other SMS apps but nothing had my attention like Hangouts. The designs just weren’t to my liking but this app is beautiful.

      1. My understanding is that unless you have Hangouts, you won’t be able to receive texts from Hangouts.

  10. I’ll give it a try ..coming from Hangouts.

  11. Hilarious……males messages are in blue and female are in pink….wtf!!! That needs to be editable as it doesn’t always get it correct and is slightly annoying.

  12. Wish that Hangouts would look like this.

    1. Wish that Google VOICE would look like this.

  13. Would it be possible to still get my Google Voice text messages in Hangouts, but then use the Messenger app for my carrier number?

    1. Possibly. That’s what I currently do on my S4. I use the Samsung SMS app for the carrier # and Hangouts for GV.

      1. I do the same on my S3.

  14. Simple is the correct word. Looks a lot like gmail. Hangouts needs a material design update but I hope it doesn’t look identical to this

  15. I just wish they could make a pop up window for incoming text instead of having to come out of what your currently doing on your phone…

  16. while having sms(gv) and hangouts all in one place is great there is a part of me that wants to split sms back out into it’s own app especially since this looks so nice.

    1. I really dig the material design of this app… Only reason why I split from hangouts sms.

      1. yeah, you’re not the first I’ve seen say that based on the design of this one. I’m gonna check it out.

  17. No way to resize text? Or am I missing something?

  18. Google, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? We already have Hangouts, STOP! No google, we do not want another Messenger named app (FB Messenger, TW SMS app) on our phones. STAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHPPPPPPP!

    1. It’s for the people that like hangouts but don’t use the actual hangouts portion of the app

      1. It can also be a basic messenger application included with a ROM, it may not be common knowledge but the Google applications (such as Gmail, YouTube etc.) are not included by default. Manufacturers pay a small licensing fee to have the apps pre-installed. If you’ve ever messed with custom ROMs you’ll notice that they don’t come with gapps already installed, you must install them yourself. This is to avoid having to pay a licensing fee. So, hangouts is an official Google app. Messenger is just a basic app like calculator and clock and such.

        1. It needs Google Play Services, so no, it’s not so basic.

    2. TOTALLY agree! What is so bad with Hangouts managing SMS to have so many people here complaining about it?

      1. We like Google Voice whereby people have to download Hangouts to receive our texts. I wouldn’t use Hangouts for anything else. Video chat? I’m not 15.

        With Messenger we can send SMS/MMS on a standard messaging app and no need for anyone to download anything.

  19. Hangouts sucks. This doesn’t.

  20. Never, ever, used Hangouts , so this is a welcome app. I’m sure I’m not alone.

  21. But does it have full Android Wear support? That’s all I care about.

    1. Probably does since it’s made by Google.

      1. The regular stock messaging app we’ve already been using is also made by Google, and it does NOT.

  22. When Google took away the standard messenger app and left us with Hangouts I downloaded something called Classic Messenger. It had the same icon as the Android 1.0 version.

  23. I manage over 50 phones where I work, not a single user uses hangouts. SMS is used daily by everyone, hangouts is not touched and is in fact disabled on the phones as everyone disliked it. These are all Galaxy phones.

    Me personally I use a Nexus and I hate hangouts and disabled it. I sync to an exchange server and hangouts pulls everyone I have EVER emailed when trying to send a new message or text. People or businesses that I emailed one time ever I sure do not need as a contact and it drove me nuts. I disabled it and installed a few standard SMS apps and settled on Textra, it works great.

    Glad to see Google realizing not everyone likes hangouts.

  24. The only way I text is with my Google number. If this app doesn’t have Google Voice support then I’ll be ignoring it.

  25. How can this be just a stock SMS app when it does not work without play services??looks like Google has some plans for the future of messenger

    1. It allows you to include Google Voice. Just go to Google Voice and select: Sync and Notifications > Receive text messages … and then select “Messenger”.

      All set. Now you can send SMS/MMS without anyone requiring to download Hangouts (which would only allow you to send SMS to people not having Hangouts on their phone).

  26. Just SMS? So basically it’s a huge step backwards from Hangouts and especially iMessage? Considering how awesome Android 5.0 is otherwise this is a big disappointment.

  27. Wow this is nice. Can i get a hangouts App that looks more like this? I love the action that adds pictures.

  28. So you can’t receive mms on this app?

    1. No you can.

  29. I like it enough to use it over Handcent. I gave up the numbered and broken up sms, and pop up quick reply for it. So far I really like it.

    Mainly I like secondary messaging apps because I can install them in any handset I use so that way I get a consistent messaging experience across devices. I switch between my OnePlus One and my first gen Moto X often enough that having two different messaging app interfaces drives me crazy.

  30. This really needs color change options. I don’t want my friends to be pink and orange.

    1. Pink and Orange? Mine is blue/white/grey.

  31. Worthless, like Hangouts it is just not worth the time.

    1. Unless you want SMS/MMS without having to require your contacts download Hangouts. There’s that.

      1. No one i know use Hangouts, even the people that have it as they stock still download alternatives on playstore and rage about it cant be removed without losing warranty, guess being stupid from oem side is common these days.

        And better alternatives are plenty full, i use this

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Apps