Google Messenger Update Brings Unread Messages Count

Google’s SMS & MMS app, Google Messenger, has had a nice update this week that brings a lot of visual tweaks as well as some new features.  The new build is version 2.0 and it is rolling out now in the Google Play Store.  The most immediate thing you will notice is the new round icon for the app, fitting in nicely with the look of the Google Pixel launcher on the Pixel devices.  That new icon also can now show unread message counts, ala iOS, which is something that Android frankly has needed for a long time.  But get this:  It doesn’t work on the new Pixel Launcher or the Google Now Launcher.

Insert head scratching here.

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The Benefits of Hangouts For Project Fi Subscribers

One of the big misconceptions about Project Fi is that you are absolutely required to use Google Hangouts for your SMS/MMS and Instant Messaging app.  Here is a quote from a post I made a couple of weeks ago on the subject:  If you are a new Project Fi users, chances are you are a bit confused.  That confusion surrounds SMS and which app you can use for getting your text messages on your Nexus phone using Fi.  On the surface, it looks like you are required to use Google Hangouts, the voice, video and yes, text messaging integrated app.  But that not necessarily true and in fact, even Google suggests that you use Google Messenger, the default SMS app on Nexus devices, for texting.

That said, for those of us on Project Fi, there are some benefits to having everything in one app like Hangouts.  Not only does it give you one app to go to for your communications, the information synchronizes with Hangouts on your PC.  That means you can get your messages and your texts on your desktop, read them and reply to them.  If you haven’t considered moving your SMS/MMS communication to Hangouts, read this article and see if it is right for you.  A lot of it will depend on how you communicate and with whom.  But after being an avid Messenger user for most of 2015, when I switched to Project Fi, I embraced Hangouts and haven’t looked back.

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Project Fi Users, No, You Don’t Have to Use Hangouts

If you are a new Project Fi users, chances are you are a bit confused.  That confusion surrounds SMS and which app you can use for getting your text messages on your Nexus phone using Fi.  On the surface, it looks like you are required to use Google Hangouts, the voice, video and yes, text messaging integrated app.  But that not necessarily true and in fact, even Google suggests that you use Google Messenger, the default SMS app on Nexus devices, for texting.

So what gives?  What’s the truth and what is the plus or minus of using Google Hangouts or Google Messenger?  Essentially it comes down to where you want messages to appear and on which devices and how you plan to communicate to friends and family.

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Google Messenger Sees A Minor Update

Google Messenger for Android

Google’s SMS/MMS app, Google Messenger, had received a minor update to address some bugs and other performance issues.  The update take the app to version 1.6.043 for those keeping score at home and for those who use the app, its an update to make sure you have, especially if you have had any strange issues with the app.

For those who aren’t familiar with Google Messenger, it is the Mountain View company’s answer to your texting needs on your Android phone that has a rich set of features including group chats and super easy photo and video sharing.  The app is beautifully done in a Material design so if you like the look of Android Lollipop and Marshmallow, you’ll love the design of this app.  You can read my full review of it here on the site.

Google Messenger – Free – Download Now

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Google Messenger Updated for Android Marshmallow Support

Google Messenger for Android

Earlier this week I posted a Public Service Announcement to remind everyone to keep their eyes open for updates to their favorite apps as Google and other developers prepare for the release of Android Marshmallow next Tuesday.  It seems now that is happening in earnest and Google Messenger is the first app I’ve found in my updates that explicitly calls out Marshmallow support.  The update is version 1.5 for those of you keeping score at home and it is available now in the Google Play Store.  If you already have Google Messenger installed on your Android phone, it make take a day or two to hit your account.

For those not familiar with it, Google Messenger is the SMS/MMS app from Google that came standard as part of Lollipop but is now a stand alone app.  You can read my review of it here.

Google Messenger for Android – Free – Download Now

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Google Updates Android Wear and Google Messenger

Google Messenger for Android

Google has dropped a couple of small updates in the Google Play Store for the Android Wear and Google Messenger apps for Android Phone.  Both updates are in the bug fix and performance improvement categories so don’t look for any new features in either of the releases.  In fact, the updates don’t even update the release notes.

Android Wear, the app that lets you sync up your Android Wear device to your phone, has been bumped to build 1.3.0.2171751 for those keeping score at home.  It builds on the last major update to the app, just last week.  In testing the update this morning with my Moto 360, I’m not seeing any changes in functionality and frankly, it was stable for me before this update so its a bit of a wash.  If however you have been having issues, get this update and see if it addresses them for you.

Android Wear for Android – Free – Download Now

Google Messenger for Android – Free – Download Now

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Google Issues Minor Update for Google Messenger

Google Messenger for Android

Google has issued a minor update to their SMS app, Google Messenger.  The update, version 1.4.048 (2144942-38) for those keeping score at home and who love version number Bingo, is available now in the Google Play Store.  If you have not checked out Google Messenger, it is a solid SMS/MMS app that allows you to share things like stickers, your location and of course pictures.  I posted a review back in May of Google Messenger and it has been my main SMS/MMS app on my BLU VIVO IV and OnePlus One almost since the beginning.  It’s a solid app that’s feature rich for a SMS client.

Google Messenger for Android – Free – Download Now

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