large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Android Messages finally gets dark theme but loses another major feature

After weeks of flip-flopping, Google to has finally started rolling the Android Messages redesign out to users − and with it comes the keenly-anticipated dark theme.

The RCS messaging app has had a major Material Design facelift, and the biggest addition is the new dark theme, which is kinder on your eyes when you’re texting at night.

Read more: Best smartphone

By default, the new Android Messages app has a clean white background (it used to be grey), but you can switch to black by diving into the main menu and tapping the Enable Dark Mode option.

The blue bar that used to sit at the top of the app has also been stripped of its colour, and the “Messages” header on the main screen has switched to the Google Sans font and been relocated to the centre of the bar.

We’re expecting improvements to be made to Android Messages’ search functionality too, but these don’t appear to have arrived yet. Earlier this summer, 9to5Google discovered search filter suggestions in the app, such as videos, links, pictures, locations and contacts.

Unfortunately, one new Android Messages tweak in particular seems to have gone down pretty badly with users (via Droid Life).

“This app was great until the most recent update. I had contacts color coded for work, family, friends, etc. Now that’s all gone and I can’t seem to set it up like that again,” reads one review on the Play Store from a user called Mandy Harris.

“Not a fan of this update Google, you took away the personalized colors for contacts which was very useful and one of the main reasons I liked this app. Now it’s just an iMessage doppelganger, which is not a compliment. Android is all about customization, what happened to that?!” reads another from user Leticia Nuñez.

Read more: Best Android phones

Another user, called Mark Leinenbach, adds: “I’m not a fan of the new update. Not sure why you’re just trying to make it look like iMessage. If I wanted that, I would just download that app! And losing the color coded messages is a HUGE step in the wrong direction. Color coding was very useful, especially in group chats.”

Google recently introduced Android Messages for Web, which lets you view your phone messages and text from your computer.

Is colour coding a deal-breaker for you? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.