New year, new version? Google has quietly slipped out a 4.0 update to its Messages app that doesn’t change much on the surface, but brings it more in line with the rest of Google’s on-device applications.
The major user-facing change in the update is the ability to set (and change) the name of group chats – an especially welcome feature for users who have multiple group chats with similar participants. If you’re chatting with contacts that don’t have pictures, their presentation has also been updated in this version.
Thanks to a detailed APK teardown from Android Police, we know that there’s also some lower level changes like references to file attachments, changing SMSC settings and onboarding users to RCS.
The Messages app has come a long way since it was first launched as Android Messages, evolving into one of Android’s best-regarded SMS, MMS & RCS messaging apps. It seems that this latest major version bump might not be justified by the features, but it could be laying the groundwork for something new that’s yet to come.
The update is yet to show up on my devices (they remain steadfastly locked at version 3.9), so it’s probably doing a slow rollout to ensure a bug-free update. If you can’t wait and need it now, head over to APK Mirror to grab it.