Facebook Messenger is getting a nice overhaul today for Android, bringing the ability to send actual SMS messages to friends from inside the app. You can swipe to the left at any time inside the app to see who is online — your favourites, another new feature, appear at the top.
The texting functionality is only supported on a small number of devices at the moment: Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Y, Galaxy Ace; LG’s Optimus Black and Optimus Hub; HTC’s One X, Wildfire S and EVO 3D. A very strange list indeed, but likely the phones that Facebook could test prior to the feature’s release.
The conversation view has also been revamped to look more like SMS conversations, which Facebook is ostensibly trying to kill with its Messenger platform. Push notifications and app stability have also been improved in this version.
Facebook for Android received an update today, too, but it’s not the need-for-speed native app we were hoping for. Instead, it integrates these new Messenger abilities into its core feature set while improving stability and fixing bugs. Facebook for iOS has also been updated to support iOS 6 and the iPhone 5.
The company is rededicating itself to mobile and promises to release updates to its apps every 4-8 weeks. While we’re not sure whether that includes other platforms like BlackBerry and Windows Phone, any commitment is good enough for us.
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The company says that an update to Messenger for iOS is coming soon.