For those of you who don’t like the Hangouts app for checking SMS messages, Google has a new standalone messaging app for Android. It’s called Messenger and is available on the Google Play Store for Android devices running on Jelly Bean and higher.
But as with other SMS apps, there isn’t much exciting about Messenger. The app comes with usual features like ability to send texts, pictures and videos, look for contacts and conversations, and block SMSs from select people. The Messenger follows Material Design guidelines, hence there is a circular plus button to quickly start a new thread. The messaging threads are painted with lots of colors, and allow you to send emoji, if you desire.
In addition, there is also a handy button to place a call to the person you’re chatting with. There’s also an option to quickly move to video chat via Hangouts. You can set different text tone for individuals. Once you’ve assigned Messenger as your default texting app, Hangouts will move all your SMS threads to it, and will no longer interfere with the texts.
At this point we are not sure why this app exists considering Hangouts already supports SMS/MMS integration. But it could definitely help people — there are plenty of them — who don’t really like the Hangouts app.