September 21, 2012

Text Message With Facebook Messenger App On Android

Facebook is bolstering communication in its Android apps, adding text and picture messaging in its newest updates.

Facebook Messenger can now take the place of your main Messaging app by handling all your text and picture message conversations. If you are a heavy Facebook user it is a clever way to quickly move between Facebook chats and SMS/MMS messages without needing to switch apps.

I have been using it for that purpose since its release yesterday, and the experience is rather good. The interface in the Messenger app has been retooled to look more less like an email inbox and more like a message list. Swipe to the left to see which of your Facebook friends are either online or are connected to messaging through mobile. You can also edit this list, putting those you frequently contact at the top. The same ability to swipe left to view contacts has also been added to the main Facebook app on Android.

I found the minimalist interface a nice change from the image-heavy stock messaging app. It reminded me somewhat of iOS Messages, with the focus on text and subtle color backgrounds in conversations.

The main thing you lose if switching all your conversations to Facebook Messenger is the full contact details you can see in the stock Messaging app. Also, there are far more options for sending content, such as a slideshow or video, that you can’t do in Facebook Messenger.

If you are a heavy user of Facebook messaging on your phone, it may be worth centralizing them all with this app. The few items you lose may be worth the more integrated experience that you would gain.

If nothing else, it is another great example of the extendability of Android. Using SMS in Facebook Messaging is not possible on iOS due to Apple restrictions. Plus, Google is not likely to make Facebook change the name of one of its apps.

Images Credit: Facebook

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