Following Google Phone v23 and Contacts 3.0, now Android Messages app by Google is also receiving the new Material Design update. You can now download Android Messages 3.6 with the new Material Design theme and Dark Mode.
It’s quite unlikely that Google apps receive design related changes often. Mostly, we only see updates that make these apps more efficient and better in terms of their performance. After the recent Material Design refreshment for the stock Google Phone and Contacts apps, users started wondering when the same will be available for the Android Messages app. Yesterday, on 16th August, Google started rolling out Android Messages 3.5 update that brings the new Material Design theme and much-demanded ‘Dark Mode’. Below, we will discuss all the new changes in the new version and how you can get it right now.
Android Messages 3.6 – What’s New?
When you run the new updated Android Messages 3.6 app, you will see that the top dark blue bar is now gone. It is now replaced with a plain White interface, with the ‘Messages’ title now aligned centrally. The message timestamp on the main window is now aligned on the right-side, while previously they were below the chats. While this may not be significant, but the new timestamp position does accommodate a bit of more space for the number of visible chats.
Also, the “+” new message icon has been replaced with a wider pill-like “Start chat” button. Upon scrolling the messages list, the button swiftly changes to a circular design with a new icon.
Within the chat window, the sender’s messages now have a light-blue background with a dark blue shade for the font. On the other hand, the recipient’s message background now is dark Grey in color with the font in Black color.
Again, contacts with no profile picture now have a more pastel-colored look. The font across the full app interface is now Google Product Sans, just like on the Contacts and Phone updates.
Last, but not the least, the new Android Messages 3.6 update brings ‘Dark Mode’ to the app. It could be enabled by tapping the 3-dot menu icon and pressing the ‘Enable dark mode’ option. The feature turns the background color to dark colors with inverted colors for the contact icons and chat messages.
Update (28 September 2018): Android Messages 3.6 is now available with an improved Material Design 2.0.
Update (18 August 2018): According to several reports on Reddit, the new Material Design and Dark Mode has been reverted. The reason is yet unknown. According to u/dmziggy, the changes could be back very soon. We will update this post when the changes roll out again.
Update (27 August 2018): Material Design 2 and Dark Mode is back with Android Messages 3.5.052. You can download the latest APK below.
Download Android Messages 3.6 (APK)
The update is now slowly available for the users via the Google Play Store. You can also force-check for the update. To do so, open the Play Store, then tap on the menu icon and select “My apps & games”. After that, simply press the refresh icon to check for new update. If the new version is not available for you yet, then you can simply install Android Messages 3.6 APK by following the instructions. The new version number is 3.6.044.
- Before you sideload/install the app manually, you must enable ‘Unknown sources’ or ‘Install unknown apps’ in your device settings.
- For Nougat or below, go to Settings -> Security.
- For Oreo or above, go to Settings -> Apps & notifications -> Special apps access.
- Once enabled, download Android Messages 3.6 APK from APKMirror.
- If you’ve downloaded the APK to the PC, make sure to transfer it to the phone’s storage.
- Next, go to the app drawer and open a file manager app of your choice.
- Navigate to the location where the APK file is present.
- Tap on the APK and then on ‘Install’.
- When the installation is complete, press ‘Done’.
In order for the new design to reflect, you might need to force-close the app and re-launch it. I personally had to do it, and online reports also suggest the same.
Once you have installed Android Messages 3.6, you can open the app and experience all the above-stated changes and the new Dark Mode in real time. The new and updated material theme (Also referred to as “Material Design 2.0” unofficially) is all set to compliment the visual changes seen on Android Pie. It’s still unsure whether all other Google apps will get the same treatment.
So, what’s your view of the new Material Design theme and Dark Mode in Android Messages 3.6? Do you like the new design, compared to the previous one? Please let us know via the comments.