Google Messages
Initial releaseAndroid: 2014; 10 years ago (2014)
Web: 2018; 6 years ago (2018)
Wear OS: 2014; 10 years ago (2014)
Operating systemAndroid, web, Wear OS

Google Messages[1] (formerly known as Messenger, Android Messages, and Messages) is a text messaging software application developed by Google for its Android and Wear OS mobile operating systems, while it's also available via the Web.

Google's official universal messaging platform for the Android ecosystem, Messages employs SMS and Rich Communication Services (RCS). Starting in 2023, Google has RCS activated by default on participating Android devices,[2] similar to the implementation of iMessage on Apple devices.[3]


The original code for Android SMS messaging was released in 2009 integrated into the Operating System.[4] It was released as a standalone application independent of Android with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2014, replacing Google Hangouts as the default SMS app on Google's Nexus line of phones.[5]

In 2018, Messages adopted RCS messages and evolved to send larger data files, sync with other apps, and even create mass messages.[6] This was in preparation for when Google launched messages for web.[7]

In December 2019, Google began to introduce support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging via an RCS service hosted by Google, referred to in the user interface as "chat features".[8] This was followed by a wider global rollout throughout 2020.[9]

The app surpassed 1 billion installs in April 2020,[10] doubling its number of installs in less than a year.[11]

Initially, RCS did not support end-to-end encryption.[12] In June 2021, Google introduced end-to-end encryption in Messages by default using the Signal Protocol, for all one-to-one RCS-based conversations,[13][14][15][16] for all group chats in December 2022 for beta users,[17][18] and for all users by August 2023.[19]

Beginning with the Samsung Galaxy S21, Messages replaces Samsung's in-house Messages app as the default messaging app for One UI for some regions and carriers.[20] In April 2021, the app began to receive UI modifications on Samsung devices to follow aspects of One UI, including pushing the top of the message list towards the middle of the screen to improve ergonomics.[21][22]

In February 2023, Google began to replace references to "chat features" in the Messages user interface with "RCS".[23] In August 2023, Google announced that Messages will use RCS by default for all users unless they opt out, to allow them to benefit from secure messaging.[19] In December 2023, with the arrival of a slew of new features, the app was renamed "Google Messages".[1]


Some of the most important features in Google Messages are:[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b Li, Abner (December 1, 2023). "'Messages by Google' is now just 'Google Messages'". 9t5oGoogle. Archived from the original on December 2, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  2. ^ Li, Abner. "Google Messages turning on RCS by default, group E2E encryption launches". Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  3. ^ Sattelberg, Will (2022-10-20). "Google is making Messages even more like iMessage, but still won't get you that blue bubble". Android Police. Retrieved 2022-11-05.
  4. ^ Ciurana, Eugene (March 22, 2009). Developing with Google App Engine. Apress. ISBN 978-1-4302-1832-6.
  5. ^ "Google: The New "Messenger" App In Android 5.0 Is A Stock SMS/MMS Solution, Not A Hangouts Replacement / Rebrand". Android Police. October 15, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  6. ^ US patent US10162817B2, Benny Schlesinger, Hen Fitoussi, Avichai COHEN, Yuval Pinchas Borsutsky, Eldar Cohen, William Ramsey, Delia Koren, "Computer messaging bot creation", issued December 25, 2018, assigned to Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC 
  7. ^ Villas-Boas, Antonio. "Android users who are jealous of iMessage need to know about Google's 'Messages for web' service, which lets you text from almost any computer". Business Insider.
  8. ^ "Google Messages get RCS on Android to make it more like Apple iMessage". CNBC. December 18, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  9. ^ Vonau, Manuel (November 3, 2020). "RCS support in Messages is spreading to more countries, including India". Android Police.
  10. ^ "Google Messages passes one billion installs on the Play Store". Android Police. May 1, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Google's Android Messages passes 500 million installs on the Play Store". Android Police. May 25, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  12. ^ Haselton, Todd (December 18, 2019). "Google makes texting on Android more like Apple's iMessage but with one less safeguard against spying eyes". CNBC.
  13. ^ Amadeo, Ron (June 16, 2021). "Google enables end-to-end encryption for Android's default SMS/RCS app". Ars Technica.
  14. ^ Clark, Mitchell (June 15, 2021). "Google adds E2E RCS encryption to Messages, emoji mashup suggests, and more for Android". The Verge.
  15. ^ Bohn, Dieter (November 19, 2020). "Google is rolling out end-to-end encryption for RCS in Android Messages beta". The Verge. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  16. ^ Omara, Emad (June 2021). Technical Paper: Messages End-to-End Encryption Overview - (PDF). (Report). 1.1.
  17. ^ "Google Messages Gets End-to-End Encryption for Group Chats on Android". PCMAG. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  18. ^ Li, Abner (2022-12-02). "Google Messages starts rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for group chats in beta". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  19. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah (2023-08-08). "Google's Messages app will now use RCS by default and encrypt group chats". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
  20. ^ Rayome, Alison DeNisco. "Samsung Galaxy S21 makes Google Messages app native, but there's a catch". CNET. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  21. ^ Porter, Jon (April 28, 2021). "Google Messages gets One UI-inspired redesign on recent Samsung flagships". The Verge. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  22. ^ Tibken, Shara. "Samsung redesigns its smartphone user interface with One samsung UI". CNET. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  23. ^ Friedman, Alan (23 February 2023). "Google drops "Chat" for "RCS" on Android". Phone Arena. Retrieved 2023-02-26.
  24. ^ "Messages by Google - A simple, helpful text messaging app". Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  25. ^ a b "Get reminders with Nudges - Messages Help". Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  26. ^ "Make calls with Google Duo - Android - Messages Help". Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  27. ^ Kavafian, Hagop (2022-08-17). "How to share your location on Android". Android Police. Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  28. ^ Li, Abner (2022-10-20). "Google Messages adding in-app YouTube PiP, free RCS over inflight Wi-Fi, and more". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  29. ^ Friedman, Alan (6 February 2022). "Google Messages update allows users to send Photos links for sharper videos and pictures". Phone Arena. Retrieved 2022-11-06.
  30. ^ "Access the Assistant in Messages, plus the latest on RCS". Google. 2019-02-25. Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  31. ^ "Check your messages on your computer or Android tablet - Messages Help". Retrieved 2023-02-13.
  32. ^ "Use caller ID & spam protection - Phone app Help". Retrieved 2023-02-13.
  33. ^ "Use Gemini in Google Messages - Gemini Apps Help". Retrieved 2024-02-26.