For as long as I can recall, Samsung has had its own messaging app for Android phones, and for just about as long, it hasn’t been especially good. One of the beautiful things about Android is that you can swap out pretty much any system app for a 3rd party one of your choice, and many do precisely this.
Recognising this trend, perhaps, Samsung has made a surprising move with the Galaxy S21 range, deciding to ditch its own messaging app in favour of Google’s Messages app.
Google Messages is a very capable messaging solution. Not only does it have one of the most complete RCS implementations available, but it also offers web-based SMS, easy and familiar UI, and lots of integrations.
As of 2021, it has one extra new feature – being built into (and the default messaging app on) each new Galaxy S21 handset sold …. unless you live in the United States.
There hasn’t been much reasoning given for this, but the move has been confirmed by Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, who told Engadget that Samsung and Google had worked together to bring Google Messages into the One UI design language used by Samsung, as well as a few tweaks on functionality.
The move isn’t a new one for Google, though; its Messages application has been the default on a number of handsets now, but adoption by Samsung is a big move.
The only real surprise is why US-sold Galaxy S21 handsets don’t come with Google Messages. They can, of course, install it from the Play Store just like anyone else, but we understand that this won’t bring the One UI specific design and functionality tweaks (which may or may not be a good thing).