Android Messages version 3.4 brings hints of a dark theme and Chrome pairing.
Messages is Google’s default SMS and RCS messaging client that ships with the majority of Android smartphones.
XDA Developers recently did a tear-down of Android Messages version 3.4. Tear-downs often predict upcoming functionality, but they are in no way a guarantee a feature will make its way to an app. Developers root through the code in an app and find pieces of unreleased features.
In this tear-down, XDA’s Kieron Quinn ‘Quinny899,’ a student and Android developer behind Mighty Quinn Apps, discovered the dark mode.
Dark mode is an extension of the new Material Design look Google is working on for Android Messages.
Neither the Material Design nor the dark theme are currently available unless you root your device. The dark theme doesn’t change much even if you do enable it. The background becomes a dark grey and text transforms to white.
However, the dark mode isn’t complete. Certain features, like the menu, retain their original colouring. In other areas the text remains black, making it hard to read with a grey background.
The other feature isn’t currently accessible at all. XDA found a string in the app file that indicates Messages can pair with a Chromebook. The strong appears to be part of the ‘Better Together’ initiative.
This isn’t the first time internal app pieces have hinted at connectivity features with Chromebooks.
In June, code was discovered in Chrome OS that hinted at upcoming connectivity. Also in June, a Nova Launcher shortcut enabled users to launch the Better Together setup screen.
While it isn’t entirely clear what Better Together actually is, it does include an SMS connection. It’s likely a more feature-rich version of the current Messages for Web client. The client allows Android users to respond to text messages on their device from any browser.
While both features aren’t ready yet, seeing code in the Messages app indicates they’re coming soon. Personally, I can’t wait to get the Material Design and dark theme for Messages.