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Google Messages is getting a big makeover – on some phones

Google’s SMS and instant messaging app have gone through several changes since first developed. Starting as a hopeful replacement for traditional text messages, the application branched out to include many of the chat features available today.

Google Messages became so popular that it recorded over a billion installations on Android phones by April last year. It took the app less than a year to double its user base. Tap or click here for a comparison between Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12.

Recognizing the popularity, mobile phone maker Samsung opted to replace its own messaging system with Messages, starting with the Galaxy S21 series. The app is now getting a big makeover, but not everybody will have it.

Details on Google Messages

Google Messages is getting a visual overhaul, bringing it in line with the design aesthetics of the One UI overlay. The app has been redesigned to fit perfectly on the screen, and the colors have slightly changed as well.

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Navigation has also been made easier, as the top part of the app shows the name and number of unread messages. Below that is a search bar and the rest of the messages for you to scroll through.

But here is the catch: the update for Google Messages seems to only be available for a few Samsung mobile devices. Initially reported as only being launched for Samsung Galaxy S21, it now turns out that Android phones running One UI 3.1 can also get it.

That seems to hold true, as the current version on the Google Play Store is listed as “varies with device.” This points to different versions being made available for different devices. The update with the design changes is version 7.9.051.

Supported devices for Messages

The One UI overlay is only available for selected Android 11 mobile phones and only for Samsung. If you don’t have either of those, you might not get the update at all. The Galaxy S21 is released with One UI 3.1 pre-installed, supporting the update straight out of the box.

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Other Samsung devices that support One UI 3.1:

  • Galaxy F62
  • Galaxy A32 and A32 5G
  • Galaxy M62
  • Galaxy M12
  • Galaxy F12
  • Galaxy A72
  • Galaxy A52 and A52 5G

Older devices in the Galaxy range that updated to the current version includes:

  • Galaxy S20 series
  • Galaxy S10 series
  • Galaxy Note 20 series
  • Select Galaxy Tab series models
  • Galaxy Note 10 series

To get the latest version, make sure that your Google Messages app is updated to the current version. If you don’t see those changes immediately, hang tight while Android and Samsung roll it out to more consumers.

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