Google has updated its Messenger app to version 2.0, bringing a number of key changes. These include visual changes — such as the new icon, new color schemes, and new layouts.
While most of the changes are visual, there are a few functional changes to the app, too, as observed during an app teardown by Android Police. For example, the app now includes new unread messages badges — putting the app in line with Apple’s iMessage by adding a feature that has long been available on iOS but not on Android. It appears as though the unread messages badges are only available on certain recent Android interfaces from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony, and Huawei.
On top of the unread messages badges, you’ll also find that the new version will merge your top contacts with your full contact list, rather than splitting the two lists into two different lists. This makes the contacts screen a lot more fluid, especially if you’re trying to start a group message. For example, now when you tap a contact the contact’s photo will switch to a checkmark, and you’ll be able to add more recipients. When you’re done adding recipients, simply hit the arrow and type out your message.
Another nice little change to the interface is that the send button will now reflect the type of message you’re changing. Previously, when you were typing an SMS, the send button was simply an arrow, while if you were sending an MMS the button would simply show “MMS.” It’s certainly not a major change, but it is a nice little touch that could prove to help people remember the type of message that they’re about to send.
If you don’t already have the new Messenger app you should get it in the near future, so sit tight. If you don’t have the Messenger app at all, head to Google Play to download it.