Today at I/O 2016, Google announced two new messaging and communication apps: Allo, a messaging app which hooks into your phone number, and Duo, a video calling app. You might assume that means Hangouts would be quietly canned (or as quietly as possible, anyway), right? Not so.
Google has confirmed to Android Police that the company will continue to invest in Hangouts and it will remain a separate product. In a way, this does make sense: as Allo requires a phone number, it might be aimed as a WhatsApp competitor, while Hangouts remains as a Facebook Messenger competitor. On the other hand, would it not be better to have one singular product focused on messaging? Read More
A new Google app that allows you to text your friends? Wait, is this replacing Hangouts? Wait, why? Yes, no, and because, to answer those queries, respectively. Google Messenger is now out on the Play Store, having been officially confirmed to exist by Google last month.
This new app is the stock SMS/MMS handler in Android 5.0, but also can be downloaded to other devices with SMS/MMS capabilities, provided they run Android 4.1 or higher.
So, what's special about Messenger? Honestly, as texting apps go, not a lot. You can share pictures and videos from the chat dialog, search your contacts and conversations, block SMSs if you need to, send audio messages, color messaging threads, and send emoji, of course. Read More