Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages: Which is Best in 2023

All phones come pre-installed with an SMS app. If you have a stock Android device, it will have Google’s Messages app. But if you own devices from brands like Samsung, they have their SMS apps. What’s more confusing is that the latest Samsung models have both messaging apps. So, if you are wondering, “Why do I have two messages app on my Samsung phone?”, you are in the right place. Here we will compare Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages.

Samsung Messages vs Google Messages

In this post, we take Samsung Messages and Google Messages (aka Android Messages) to the battleground and see which is the best messaging app for Samsung based on various parameters like user interface, chat features, organization, etc. Let’s get started.

1. App Icon

Both messaging apps show up with the same name on your phone i.e., Messages. And that further confuses a user. So for starters, the Google Messages app has a blue chat bubble that is surrounded by a white background.

The Samsung Messages app has the opposite colors, i.e., the chat bubble is white color and the background is blue. Furthermore, the chat bubble arrow in the Google Messages app points toward the right side whereas it points to the left side for the Samsung app. Also, the Samsung Messages app has three dots inside the chat bubble.

Now that you know how to identify the Google Messages and Samsung Messages apps on your Samsung Galaxy phone, it’s time to move to other differences.

2. User Interface

Both apps have a similar yet distinct user interface (UI). While Samsung Messages has a whitish look, Google Messages looks more colorful, thanks to the colored contact icons.

On the main screen, you will find all your messages in a list format in both apps with the most recent one at the top. Both apps show message categories at the top (more on them below) and a floating new chat button at the bottom-right corner. In Samsung Messages, you get a separate Contacts tab at the bottom that lets you find and message any of your contacts quickly.

Apart from that, the Google Messages app shows more lines of text for each chat as compared to Samsung Messages. This helps in quickly reading most of the message without opening the entire chat.

You will also see the day mentioned next to the chat when the recent message was received (for the current week) in Google Messages as opposed to the date shown on Samsung Messages.

I. Unread Messages

When it comes to new or unread messages, there is a stark difference between the two messages app. The Samsung Messages app shows the number of new messages in an orange circle right next to each chat. On the other hand, Google Messages makes the text bold for the unread chats and puts a dot next to them.

Furthermore, you can filter and view all the unread messages in Samsung Messages app by tapping on the View button present at the top under X unread messages. This feature isn’t available in Google Messages app.

II. Gesture Support

Unlike other text apps, Samsung Messages doesn’t support any gestures. So, if you swipe on a message thread on the main screen, nothing will happen. But if you swipe on a chat thread in Google Messages, the thread will be archived. You can change the gesture to delete the message thread or turn it off completely in settings.

3. Message Organization Features

Let’s compare Samsung Messages and Google Messages based on various organization features.

I. SMS Categories

Google Messages offers four categories to organize conversations – Personal, Transactions, OTPs, and Offers in addition to the main All categories. The messages are automatically organized into these categories. You cannot create new categories in the Google Messages app.

On the contrary, categories in the Samsung Messages app are like folders. You will have to create them manually and put conversations into them.

Tip: To create categories in Samsung Messages, tap on the three-dot icon at the top of the Samsung Messages app and select Edit categories.

II. Archive Messages

Archive is a feature present in most chat apps that lets you hide conversations from the main view without actually deleting them. If you want to archive messages, Google Messages app offers the feature whereas Samsung Messages lacks the same. The archived messages are kept in a separate Archived folder from where they can be unarchived anytime.

Pro Tip: To archive a chat in Google Messages, long-press it and tap on the Archive icon at the top. To find archived messages, tap on the three-bar icon followed by Archived.

III. Pin Messages to the Top

If you frequently message someone, pinning their chat to the top of the chat list comes in extremely handy. When you pin a message, it stays at the top of the list even if you receive or send other messages Thankfully, both the messages app let you pin chats to the top. However, you can pin only up to 5 chats in Google Messages app whereas the Samsung Messages app allows up to 20 chats.

Tip: To pin a chat in Google Messages, long press and tap on the Pin icon at the top. In Samsung Messages, long press the chat and tap on the three-dot icon followed by Pin to top.

IV. Star Messages

Pinning is beneficial for the entire thread. What if you want to access a certain individual message from a chat regularly? That’s where the star or favoriting a message comes in handy. Thankfully, both the messages app offer the feature.

To star a message in any of the two apps, open the chat and long-press the message. Tap on the Star icon (Google Messages) or select the Star message from the menu (Samsung Messages). You will see the Star icon next to the starred messages. Once starred, such messages are available under the Starred section, accessible from the three-bar icon (Google Messages) and three-dot icon (Samsung Messages).

V. Recover Deleted Messages

When you delete a message on the Samsung Messages app, it goes into the Recycle bin aka Trash folder where it stays for 30 days before getting deleted permanently. The Recycle bin folder helps in recovering deleted messages in case you deleted them accidentally. This feature is missing in the Google Messages app where your messages are permanently deleted after you hit the Delete button.

Tip: Learn how to find trash on Android.

VI. Managing Old Messages

Both messaging apps offer separate ways to manage old messages. Google Messages offers the feature to automatically delete OTPs after 24 hours. On the contrary, Samsung Messages will automatically delete old messages once they reach a certain limit i.e., 1000 texts, 100 multimedia messages, or 5000 chats. Both these features can be enabled or disabled from settings in the respective apps.  

4. Messaging Features

Is the Google Messages app better than the Samsung Messages app or vice versa in terms of messaging features? Let’s find out here.

I. Schedule Messages

One of the reasons that made people switch to third-party SMS clients was the availability of the message scheduling feature. Guess what? This is a native feature in both Samsung and Google Messages.

Tip: To schedule a message on either app, tap the (+) icon next to the typing box and select Schedule message. On the Google Messages app, you can also long-press the Send button to schedule a message.

II. Quick Replies

Want to avoid typing out the same or repetitive responses to save time? Then you will love Quick Response, a feature exclusive to Samsung Messages. Just tap on the (+) icon in the chat thread and select Quick Response to view the available messages like Sorry, I missed your calls, please call me when you get this message, etc. While Samsung Messages has a nice list of pre-defined replies, you can create your responses too from settings.

On the other hand, Google Messages doesn’t offer a quick response feature. But it offers something more interesting and that is Smart Replies. As the name suggests, Google will automatically suggest replies and even emojis and GIFs based on messages received.

None of the apps let you add a custom signature to your messages. On the bright side, when you get a link in an SMS from your contacts, both apps will show a link preview. You can disable this feature in the settings of both apps.

For starters, the Samsung Messages app offers a search icon, whereas you get a full-fledged search bar at the top of the Google Messages app. When you open the search, you will be greeted by different search categories like images, videos, links, etc., in both apps. Tap on a category to view conversations having that particular item. For instance, images will show all the chats containing pictures.

Type whatever you want to search and both apps will instantly show the results. It must be noted that the search can be used to find both your contacts and conversations.

One major difference in terms of search is that the Samsung Messages app also lets you search through individual chat threads. Open the chat thread, tap on the three-dot icon, and select Search messages.

V. Spam Detection

Google Messages is far ahead of Samsung Messages in terms of spam detection. It will warn you about spam messages before you open them and it has a separate Spam folder where it automatically puts the incoming spam messages.

Tip: Check out the best Samsung Messages app settings that you must know.

5. RCS Messaging

The messaging apps are no longer limited to just SMS and MMS services. Now, Android messages apps also offer the functionality to send messages over the internet.

Thankfully, both Samsung and Google Messages support Rich Communication Services (RCS). However, while Google Messages is available worldwide, RCS on Samsung Messages is limited to carriers. Also, while the RCS service works flawlessly between Google Messages apps, it’s a hit-and-miss between Samsung and Google Messages.

Here’s a list of similarities and differences in terms of RCS in these apps:

  • Both apps offer read receipts.
  • The ability to enable or disable Auto-download files is available in both.
  • Can send location, image, video, GIFs, audio, contacts, and voice notes from both apps.
  • Samsung Messages lets you send Calendar events and Notes.
  • Samsung Messages supports sending stickers only from Samsung Keyboard.
  • You can add nicknames in Samsung Messages.
  • You can choose the image and video quality in Samsung Messages.

Note: Google Messages supports emoji reactions and converts reactions from iPhone users into proper emoji reactions instead of typing them in the text as present on Samsung Messages.

6. App Customization

I. Dark Mode

Both messaging apps support dark mode. However, while the dark mode of the Samsung Message app is linked to the system-wide dark mode setting on Samsung, you can enable or disable dark mode in Google Messages without changing the appearance of your entire phone.

II. Themes

There’s no secret that Samsung Galaxy phones support themes. And when you change your phone’s theme (from Settings > Themes), the same will apply to Samsung apps including the Samsung Messages app.

Furthermore, you can also change the color or background of individual chats in Samsung Messages. Both these features are missing in the Google Messages app.

Tip: To change the conversation background in Samsung Messages, open the chat and tap on the three-dot icon. Select Customize chat room.

7. Desktop Continuity

Google Messages app offers a native feature to send and receive messages from a PC, just like WhatsApp web. All you need to do is open the Messages on Web on your PC, scan the QR code from your phone and that’s it. You can then use your PC to send or receive messages.

On the other hand, the Samsung Messages app doesn’t offer this feature. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot use your PC to send or receive messages. You will have to use the Link to Windows service to connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to a Windows computer. This service offers additional features like the ability to view notifications on a PC, make and receive calls, drag and drop files, check photos, sync clipboard, and much more.

Please note that the Link to Windows (aka Your Phone Companion) isn’t limited to Samsung Messages or Samsung devices. You can use Google Messages as well with this service.

8. Price

Both Google Messages and Samsung Messages are free apps. All the features mentioned above are available for free in both apps. There is no premium version to unlock any extra features.

9. Availability

Google Messages is available for all Android phones including Samsung. So if you like Google Messages on your current Android phone, you can always install it on another Samsung or any other device. But if you fall for Samsung Messages, you will have to become a loyal Samsung customer since you cannot install it on any other Android device.

That is, Samsung Messages is limited to Samsung Galaxy devices.  

10. What’s Similar

Both apps let you set custom notification sounds for individual chats, change the text size by pinching in and out on the screen, and mark all messages as read.

Conclusion: The Good and the Bad

It’s kind of hard to judge between the two apps as both offer amazing features. We have tried our best to compare the two messaging apps. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preferences. I prefer using Samsung Messages on my Samsung phone and Google Messages on my Google Pixel phone.

If you are looking for an app that supports AI and has better RCS support, Google Messages is your go-to app. But if you prefer customization, Samsung Messages is a nice choice.

FAQs About Samsung Messages vs. Google Messages

1. How to change the default messaging app on Samsung Galaxy phones?

Go to Settings followed by Apps > Choose default apps. Tap on the SMS app and choose your preferred SMS app.

2. How to move messages to a new SMS app?

You don’t need to manually move the messages to the new default SMS app on the same phone. Once you change the default messaging app, all your old messages will automatically show up in the new app. Learn how to move Samsung Messages to Google Messages on a different phone.

Last updated on 18 May, 2023

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