Google, the world's largest internet search company, is giving its Android's default messaging system a major boost with a standalone app.
The web giant introduced the Messenger app for Android phones featuring improved design, better file sharing capabilities, number blocking and lots of other features. The new app, which is pre-loaded on devices running Android Lollipop, is an alternative to Hangouts for SMS and works without a Gmail sign-in.
The default messaging system on Android phones lacked major developments despite timely changes with series of Android updates. But that is about to change with Messenger as it brings Lollipop's overhauled material design look to devices running version 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher.
The new app works much like Hangouts and lets users send and receive SMS and MMS messages. In addition, Google allows users to instantly share photos, videos, voice messages and emojis, Android Police reported.
This new move comes as a correction to Hangouts replacement of stock SMS app in Android KitKat 4.4. With new and colourful themes, users can change the interface of the Messenger and also archive and search through conversations with an ease.
According to Tech First Post, Messenger works only with a carrier SIM as it cannot be used as a free internet-based messaging app like WhatsApp.
The app also shares its name with Facebook's standalone Messenger app, which recently surpassed 500 million monthly active users. Searching for Google Messenger on Play Store brings Facebook's app first among other apps such as Yahoo! Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger and others.
Messenger by Google is only available for Android smartphones as it serves as the default messaging system. The app is available for free at Google Play Store.