Google is currently on a mission towards redesigning most of its Android apps to conform to the design language of Material Design. Since the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop, every change made to apps in the play store are geared towards ensuring the apps is structured for maximum optimization with Android 5.0 design language. The latest is Google’s messaging app, and no, we are not talking about Google Hangouts, rather, it is Google Messenger that is a standalone messaging app.
Though the two are quite similar, Messenger borrows the design aesthetics of Material Design, and does come as standard and pre-installed on Android 5.0 Lollipop. The major addition is the Material Design scheme that it now has. This makes it much more elegant than Hangouts, which is quite typical. Apart from the redesign, there are also certain tiny but important features added to the app. They include the ability to block certain contacts, send and receive audio files, quick photo sharing, and support for emoji. There is also the ability to set specific tones for different contacts, in addition to search and archive messages. These may not necessarily be new in the messaging world, and the major factor that makes the Messenger standout is the Material Design touch. Material Design makes it look and feel entirely new despite not adding any significant changes unavailable in other messengers or SMS platforms.
Google has a history of numerous messaging services, starting off with the native messaging app built in every Android device. This was followed with Google Chat, which extended from Gmail. Over time it evolved into Hangouts, which has been, and still is an active messenger. However, it started off as a data-based service, much like WhatsApp, before gaining its ability to send and receive messages. And now we have Messenger, the most advanced of Google’s messengers.