It was detailed yesterday that the Galaxy S21 lineup would come preloaded with Google’s Messages app, which has become a very solid app for texting, complete with RCS functionalities. The experience is said to be more “native” on the S21 models, with optimizations made to make it feel more a part of One UI, and in addition, it was made the default messaging app on the phones. For Samsung, who has always loved using its own apps for this sort of thing, this is a big deal.
There’s a big problem, though, as this native experience is only available to Galaxy S21 units outside of the US. WTF, folks.
No specific reason is known why Samsung is keeping its own messaging app as the default in the US, but the move was confirmed yesterday by Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer. While it would have been nice to have a uniform messaging experience across Android devices, an upside exists in the fact that Samsung’s messaging app also supports RCS and it is probable that most Galaxy owners are quite familiar with it by this point.
There’s nothing to stop any Galaxy S21 buyers from installing Google Messages, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be this new “native” experience that’s referenced. Oh well.