Google Messages App just Adds more Clutter to Your Home Screen

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 12 Nov 2014

Have you been feeling overwhelmed by Hangouts lately? Start it up every morning on your ride to work, chat with friends, and check up on what’s happening at the office. And constantly bombarded by messages from Voice on your regular phone number. A thought to yourself, would this be easier if you had two separate apps to keep the noise down to a minimum? Google’s new Messages app reminds you that Hangouts should integrate everything into a single app. Because having two messaging apps to contend with is more of a struggle than it’s worth.

If Only Life were as Simple as this Interface

Chatting with my friends via Material Design.

Google’s Messages has been made over with Material Design, and there’s not much else. If you see blue, you’re on the main application screen; if you see orange, you’re in a messaging thread.

Orange means you’ve in a thread.

To send a message. Tap the plus icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to start a new thread. It’s precisely how the recently made-over Docs and Calendar apps work. It’s another testament to how consistent and practical Material Design is in design standards.

Easily block contacts or see who else is in the conversation.

The Messages app also offers a handy button to place a call to the person you’re chatting with. And just like in Hangouts, you can add people to your contacts. And give them a unique text tone, and see who else is in the conversation.

Tap on a person’s name to bring up whatever Contacts app you have as your default.

Tapping their name will bring up whatever Contacts app you have as your default. Some phones’ default Contact list offers a handy link to move over to Hangouts. So you can start a video call or continue chatting in Hangouts.

Not a Handy Companion to Hangouts

Two apps that serve the same purpose.

Annoyingly, Messages asks you if you want to use Hangouts or Messages as the default text messaging app. You can’t use both at the same time. And as soon you designate it as the default. Hangouts will transfer all text message threads over to Messenger so that it only handles Voice Hangouts threads.

How annoying: You can only send a text message through Voice.

Not being a fan of the fact that the two apps don’t work in tandem. For instance, the default SMS app for Sense 6 will still sync text message conversations with Hangouts. Regardless if it’s the default app. It’s nice to have that respite from all the crazy discussions happening in Hangouts. And once in a while without having to go back to Settings to switch the default. The Messages app is archaic and unnecessary, despite its neat Material Design makeover. The preference here is the ubiquitous nature of Hangouts. It makes the most sense for the markets that Google’s big in, like the emerging markets. Some people pay as they go for text messaging and phone calls. They would likely prefer using Hangouts to send over-the-top messages using data. It is best to do this when you go overseas.

Thus, there’s no need to overcomplicate your life. You’re better off sticking with Hangouts, for all of your messaging needs.