|Type||SMS, Instant messaging|
|Operating system(s)||Android, Windows|
Messages (formerly known as Android Messages) is an SMS 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 Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging since 2018, marketed as "chat features". By April 2020, the app had more than a billion installs which was most likely due to Google's wider roll out of RCS to many different countries without carrier support.
The SMS apps original base coding was integrated into the android system in 2009. It wasn't until the alteration to be an app running system was it first release as its own individual application with Android. The app was released as Messenger along with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2014 and replaced Google Hangouts as the default SMS app on Google's Nexus line of phones.
In 2018 the system evolved to send larger data files, sync with other apps, and even create mass messages. This was in preparation for when Google launched messages for web.
In December 2019, Google rolled out support for RCS messaging (marketed as chat features) in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Mexico. This was followed by a wider global rollout throughout 2020.
The app surpassed 1 billion installs in April 2020, doubling its number of installs in less than a year.
Initially, the app did not support end-to-end encryption, but in November 2020, Google announced that end-to-end encryption would be rolling out to users starting with beta testers that month. According to the announcement, all RCS-based conversations between users of Messages will be end-to-end encrypted by default using the Signal Protocol, starting with one-to-one conversations.
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. 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.
The app supports Rich Communication Services using Jibe's servers which uses the RCS's Universal Profile, marketed to consumers as "chat features". It also features an integration with Google's video calling app Duo. Messages is also available on the web which allows sending and receiving of the messages through the web, but requires the phone to be connected to the internet. Messages for the web also features integration with Google Duo.