Those who booted Google Messenger recently might have seen something that is not quite right, so to speak, being called Android Messages now. Having a new name for a particular product is not going to do any good if nothing good comes out from it. Google Messenger has gotten a brand new name -- where it is now Android Messages. This is but one step towards making a more universal texting app, as we are most probably looking in the direction of a unified messaging platform regardless of the Android-powered device that you are using.
In terms of usage, nothing new has been introduced or changed. The new name does not mean anything different has been introduced, and life will go on normally. However, there ought to be (hopefully positive) changes made in the way things work differently.
Amir Sarhangi, who is the head of Rich Communication Services (RCS) at Google, did make mention about why there is a name change. In essence, they would like to come up with a default universal messaging app on Android. At the moment, Google Messenger arrives preloaded on both Pixel and Nexus devices, as well as on selected handsets. This has made the Android messaging experience not as unified as it is on Apple’s iOS. After all, other manufacturers have included their own default SMS/MMS app with each handset, and many users prefer to make use of other third party apps like WhatsApp, Allo, or Hangouts when it comes to keeping in touch with their family and friends.
For the future, it seems that Android Messages will be the default app that will soon ship on a wide range of devices that are not part of the Google stable. These would most probably include the big guns in the industry such as HTC (will it appear with the HTC 11?), LG (the LG G6, perhaps), Motorola (the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, we presume), and Sony.
The smaller handset manufacturers have also agreed to include Android Messages in their devices that roll off production lines in the future, including the likes of ZTE, Micromax, HMD Global (Nokia), Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, Lanix, LeEco, Lava, Kyocera, MyPhone, QMobile, Symphony and Wiko.
If there is one particular name that is not on the list which might seem surprising, it would be that of South Korean giant -- Samsung. Does this mean that there is no support from Samsung going forward? After all, Samsung does command quite a large market share when it comes to Android-powered devices, and if the flagships such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 are not going to arrive with Android Messages, then it would be rather interesting to see how things will pan out eventually.
Not only that, we do know that Google is working towards seeing the RCS standard arrive on Android handsets. RCS will be able to offer support for fantastic image quality and videos of up to 10MB, location sharing, and seeing whether others are typing out a message or not.