Google Messenger's Latest Big Update Goes Live for All

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Not to go off on a rant here, but Google’s method for issuing updates to its core apps is a complete disaster. These apps constantly get updates, but does Google ever relay what could be new with them? Almost never. The changelogs rarely update. And when they do, it’s two weeks after their sh*tty slow rollout system has completed and we’ve all forgotten that the app ever updated. Instead, we’re left in the dark, digging through the app ourselves, hoping to find something new, or being forced to waste time in random forums or reddit or IRC or wherever else ultra-nerds hangout to sweat over the shape of a text bubble changing, when all Google needed to do was update the app’s listing.

Take for example Google Messenger. This is their best messaging app by a mile. Over the past week, a pretty major update has been rolling out, but as far as I can tell, the “What’s New” section for the app wasn’t updated until either today or yesterday, after most of you already had the app. You would think that Google might want to spread the news about its biggest Messenger update in a year? Apparently, not. 

And look, I don’t think any of us have an issue with digging into an app a bit to look for extra changes. But our time is also valuable. When an app updates, it would be great if I could just open the app’s listing and see what changed. The fact that that almost never happens and I actually just typed that out is a joke. What’s the point of the “What’s New” section if it almost never tells me what’s new when my app updates?

Is Google waiting until the app has fully rolled out to post changes? Probably. In fact, that’s exactly what it seems like they are doing, but think about how stupid that is. That means that potentially millions of people are getting an update to an app and have absolutely no idea what changed in it. Why are any of these people going to go back to the Play listing for it to see what changed some days later when the changelog is posted? It’s not like they are getting another notification when the changes up are. The whole point is to see an update, tap on it, and then have the app listing tell you what to expect. As of right now, that’s almost never the case and it’s beyond frustrating.

And that brings us back to Google Messenger. Yeah, it got a huge update. The UI has been re-done quite a bit with bubblier chat boxes, a new icon, quicker photo sharing, your top contacts easily accessible for new conversations, an unread messages indicator on that new Messenger icon, and full Android N compatibility, which app shortcuts in there too.

Is this old news? Yeah, because Google can’t properly operate it’s own app store and its app listings. /end rant

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