Facebook revamps Messenger for Android, adds texting

Facebook redesigned its Messenger app for Android with a new look for messages and integrated text messages among other improvements. Some of these changes are also reflected in the new Facebook app for Android. Both updates are now available in the Google Play store.

The updated Facebook Messenger has a new sidebar that lists your Facebook friends and favorites, easily accessible by simply swiping from the left of the screen to bring it up. Tapping on any of your friends’ names will bring up the chat window, which has also been redesigned to look more like an SMS app.

The reason the chat windows looks like an SMS app is because the new Facebook Messenger now incorporates the ability to text your contacts directly from the app, provided they have their mobile number set up and you have one of the compatible phones: HTC EVO 3D and One X, LG Optimus Black and Hub, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Nexus, S3, and Y. More devices will be supported soon, Facebook said.

The new Facebook app for Android does not bring much in terms of new features, but a limited set of users will be able to try out a new photo-syncing feature that will upload photos as you take them to a private area on Facebook. The synced photos can then be shared on your Timeline or send as private messages to your friends.

What you won’t find yet in the Facebook apps for Android are the speed improvements and technology overhaul that the social network delivered with the latest updates to its iPhone and iPad apps a few weeks ago. Facebook said that these changes are on the way though, but did not give any clues with regards to how long. Meanwhile, the social network said that an update to Messenger for iOS, bringing the new chat look, would be available soon.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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