Initial releaseAndroid: 2014; 8 years ago (2014)
Web: 2018; 4 years ago (2018)
Wear OS: 2014; 8 years ago (2014)
Operating systemAndroid, web, Wear OS

Messages (formerly known as Android Messages) is an SMS, RCS, and instant messaging application developed by Google for its Android mobile operating system. A web interface is also available. Launched in 2014, it has supported RCS messaging since 2018, marketed as "chat features".


It supports SMS, MMS and RCS messaging. A web interface and a Wear OS interface are also available.

Launched in 2014, it has supported RCS messaging since 2018. By April 2020, the app had more than a billion installs.[1][2] It includes a variety of integrations with Google Calendar, Google Assistant, Google Meet, and The Weather Channel.[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 the system 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 rolled out support for RCS messaging (under the name chat features) in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Mexico.[8] This was followed by a wider global rollout throughout 2020.[9]

The app surpassed 1 billion installs in April 2020,[2] doubling its number of installs in less than a year.[10]

Initially, the app did not support end-to-end encryption.[11] In June 2021 Google introduced end-to-end encryption in Messages, supported only if two users are on Messages in a 1:1 chat (not group chat), both with RCS turned on.[12][13] All one-to-one RCS-based conversations between users of Messages are end-to-end encrypted by default using the Signal Protocol.[14][15]

Beginning with the Samsung Galaxy S21, Messages replaces Samsung's in-house Messages app as the default messaging app for One UI in selected markets.[16] In April 2021, the app began to receive a modification to its user interface in markets outside of the U.S. when running on recent Samsung phones, which adheres to its use of larger headers within in-house apps to improve ergonomics.[17][18]


The app supports Rich Communication Services (RCS) using Google Jibe Platform[19] servers, which use RCS's Universal Profile,[20] marketed to consumers as "chat features".[21] It also integrates with the video calling app Google Meet.[22] Messages is also available via the Web, which allows messages to be sent and received over the Internet, using a phone or computer connected to it.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Messages - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  2. ^ a b "Google Messages passes one billion installs on the Play Store". Android Police. May 1, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Li, Abner (October 24, 2019). "Messages for web adds Google Duo calling integration". 9to5Google. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  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's Android Messages passes 500 million installs on the Play Store". Android Police. May 25, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Haselton, Todd (December 18, 2019). "Google makes texting on Android more like Apple's iMessage but with one less safeguard against spying eyes". CNBC.
  12. ^ Amadeo, Ron (June 16, 2021). "Google enables end-to-end encryption for Android's default SMS/RCS app". Ars Technica.
  13. ^ Clark, Mitchell (June 15, 2021). "Google adds E2E RCS encryption to Messages, emoji mashup suggests, and more for Android". The Verge.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Omara, Emad (June 2021). Technical Paper: Messages End-to-End Encryption Overview - (PDF). (Report). 1.1.
  16. ^ Rayome, Alison DeNisco. "Samsung Galaxy S21 makes Google Messages app native, but there's a catch". CNET. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  17. ^ Porter, Jon (April 28, 2021). "Google Messages gets One UI-inspired redesign on recent Samsung flagships". The Verge. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  18. ^ Tibken, Shara. "Samsung redesigns its smartphone user interface with One samsung UI". CNET. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "Jibe Platform". Google. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "Why RCS?". Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  21. ^ Bohn, Dieter (April 19, 2018). "Exclusive: Chat is Google's next big fix for Android's messaging mess". The Verge.
  22. ^ "Make calls with Google Duo - Android - Messages Help". Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Check your messages on your computer or Android tablet - Messages Help". Google Support. Retrieved November 19, 2021.