When Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series earlier this year, they partnered with Google to preinstall the latter’s Messages app in many parts of the world. Google and Samsung’s partnership is aimed at unifying the chat experience for Android users, especially as Google continues to lead the charge in rolling out RCS. Samsung’s flavor of Android called One UI is heavily themed, though, so Google made a few tweaks to the design of the app so it doesn’t look out of place. Now, the Google Messages app is getting a brand new home screen design on Galaxy S21 devices worldwide, bringing a one-handed friendly UI that’s reminiscent of many stock One UI apps.
As spotted by XDA’s Tushar Mehta on his Exynos Galaxy S21 Ultra, the home screen page of the Google Messages app has been divided into two parts: an “information” area up top that lists the app’s name and how many messages haven’t been read, and an “interactive” area below that where you can search through or open conversations. This division has been a staple of Samsung’s One UI design philosophy since its initial iteration, and so the new UI of Google’s Messages app makes it feel right at home among Samsung’s other apps.
Tushar tells us that he’s seeing this new UI with version 7.9.051 (Pine_RC00.phone_samsung_dynamic) of the Google Messages app. However, a quick perusal through Reddit reveals that several other users worldwide are seeing the new UI on different versions of the application. This suggests that the new UI is triggered via a server-side update.
We don’t know if this new UI will remain exclusive to the Galaxy S21 series, but for now, we’ve only spotted it on Samsung’s latest flagships. It’s likely that other Samsung Galaxy devices launching with the Messages app preinstalled will get this new UI, though. Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy S21 FE later this year, and it could come with Messages in some parts of the world.
Update 1: Coming to Samsung Galaxy devices with One UI 3.1
According to Android Police, Google Messages’ new One UI-inspired makeover is available on any Samsung device running One UI 3.1 or later. The publication has spotted the new design on not just the Galaxy S21 but also the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy F62. A Redditor claims to have it on their Galaxy A52 5G, while Twitter user Manoj Reddy informed us they also have it on their Galaxy A52 4G.