Not only is Google’s Messenger texting app better looking than Hangouts, it apparently does a superior job.
At least that’s the case with Project Fi, as a Google support page recommends that you use Messenger over Hangouts, even though the latter promises to handle all your communication. The help section details the following:
“For now, we recommend using Messenger as the default SMS app. There are a few features, like group messaging, that aren’t supported in Hangouts yet.”
You’ll need to make sure in the Settings you select Messenger as the default option for messaging to avoid any issues. A Nexus support page shows you how.
Over time, Google has brought a lot of updates and new functionality to Messenger, such as a slick widget. The only downside is that you have to use two apps for messaging if you have some contacts that use Hangouts.
The story behind the story: It once looked like Google was going to kill off Voice altogether, but it’s turned out to instead to be a slow metamorphosis. Some Voice features like Voicemail and messaging are integrated with Hangouts while Google has built a dedicated app for SMS and MMS messages. We’ll see if any of this clears up at Google I/O, which is just around the corner.