Google Photos integration is also showing up in a limited group of users.
What you need to know
- Google is starting to roll out an old-fashioned navigation drawer in the beta version of Messages.
- The hamburger menu is located in the upper left corner of the app and contains all the basic options such as Messages, Starred, Archived, and Spam and Block.
- Messages also adds support for Google Photos, which is significantly different from MMS.
Google Messages is getting a visual makeover with a Gmail-inspired navigation drawer to improve the messaging experience on Android phones, at least for those involved in its beta program.
A few days after 9to5Google discovered the changes, the new design started appearing in the latest Messages beta (messages.android_20220128_02_RC00.phone.openbeta_dynamic). The same site has now spotted beta testing of the feature, and as expected, it brings an old-fashioned hamburger menu.
The three-dot menu previously located in the upper right corner of the app has been removed in the new design. Instead, Messages replaced the feature with a hamburger menu on the other side of the app. It contains the same basic options such as Messages, Starred, Archived, and Spam and Block. In a separate section at the bottom of the menu, you’ll see themes and device pairing options.
In the current version of Messages, all of these options are in a three-dot menu, which makes the section a bit crowded. If you prefer Google’s previous organization, it might be tempting to switch to the navigation drawer. It’s an interesting change since Google has gotten rid of this interface recently, especially from the Play Store.
In addition to the retro navigation menu, there is the integration of Google Photos with Messages, which first appeared last November. This feature allows you to share higher quality videos than MMS via the app.
To do this, you need to be logged into your Google account. So it would make sense for Google to replace the three-dot menu with an account switcher in the upper right corner to indicate which photo account you’re syncing.
The latest changes are currently only available to a limited set of users, but a wider rollout shouldn’t be far away.