Google has just rolled out the new messaging app, first seen on the Nexus 6 running Android Lollipop, to the Play Store, meaning those rocking other Android devices can now indulge in this intriguing new application. Provided that your handset is running Android 4.1 or higher, it’ll be ready to run the nice-looking tool simply called Messenger, and as well as the download link, you’ll find all of the relevant details below.

Google has had a fair crack at trying to get everybody into Hangouts, but while it does have a place in the digital lives of many consumers, forcing it as the default SMS app on Nexus devices was perhaps a step too far. Not only that, but for all of Android’s qualities, the stock Messaging service has left much to be desired, and it seems that finally, the search giant has brought forth something decent.

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In terms of features, it rarely ventures beyond the confines of the basics, but that’s just the way we like it. You can share images, block nuisance correspondence, use emoji to your heart’s content, and the layout of the interface is also very easy on the eye. There’s a search function, enabling you to quickly find that important chat you had some weeks back, and all in all, it looks a worthy upgrade on both Hangouts and Messaging.

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I’ve given the app a quick download, and it looks very vibrant, clean, and in-keeping with Google’s new Material Design ethos. Once downloaded, if you are a fan of the new app, you’ll need to tap on the options menu in the top-right corner (if you don’t have the hardware button) and set it as your default.

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It’s a very solid start, and with such a broad palette of colors on offer throughout Android Lollipop, this latest sticky-sweet entry to the Play Store follows suit. For a first offering, it covers many of the major features one would expect to find in a text messaging app, and having used Hangouts and the Android Messaging app for some time, Messenger definitely seems an improvement.

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Anyway, as you’d expect, Messenger is completely free of charge, and if you wish to download it, you can do so via the direct link provided below.

(Download: Messenger for Android on Google Play)

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