Google Messages which is Google's native messaging app for Android, has hit 1 billion installs on Play Store. This is quite a feat considering that Google Messages does not come pre-installed on all phones like its sibling apps.
This was first spotted by Android Police who also noted that it took Google Messages less than a year to double this count. Google Messages app comes pre-installed in select devices like the Pixel phones and Android One phones. Other OEMs have their own custom messaging app which is default on their smartphones. Unlike Google's suite of apps like Maps, Gmail, Drive and Photos, the Messages app is not bundled with this pre-installed package.
It looks like people have grown pretty fond of Google Messages app which does offer a clean and intuitive interface. Google Messages was also one of the early apps to receive dark mode support. It also has features like a markup tool to edit images, reminders, read receipts and it shows you when someone is typing. Google Messages is the closest you can get to Apple's iMessage. But one of the biggest features it received was RCS (Rich Communication Services) support.
RCS basically gives more multimedia capabilities to the messaging app. It lets users send media like GIFs, high-resolution photos, videos, longer messages and attach files as well. RCS support on Google Messages first rolled out in select regions like France, Mexico and the UK. It has however expanded to more countries including India, and Italy and Singapore joined just yesterday.