With Hangouts removing its ability to act as an SMS client, Google and select manufacturers are pushing users towards Android Messages. A minor update (version 2.1.x to 2.2.x) to the app today brings a number of interface tweaks to Android’s SMS and RCS client.

The first change is in the conversation view and is related to how each contact can be themed. To make the plus button for adding images, stickers, and location more prominent, it is now placed in a circle that’s the same color as the theme. In the past, thin plus icons of lighter color easily merged into the white background of the text field.

When in the photo picker, there is now a keyboard icon to remind users that they can switch back.

Tapping ‘People & options’ from a conversation’s overflow menu brings a new option to quickly start a group message. Under ‘People in this conversation,’ there is a new ‘Add people’ button that brings up the contacts picker.

Meanwhile, the ‘New conversation’ screen – accessed by tapping the FAB – now has a very prominent button to start a group conversation.

Version 2.2.67 of Android Messages is rolling out now via the Play Store.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com