Making it easier to connect with your friends through Android
At Google, we're focused on connecting the world through mobile, so that when you want to share your new favorite pizza place or a picture of your new nephew, you can easily reach your friends and family. With messaging apps today, it can be tough to get in touch when you need to — you don't always know if your friend uses the same messaging app that you do, and many people use different apps to communicate. We wanted to make it easier for people to connect with friends through a new feature called App Preview Messaging included in Google Play services on Android.
With App Preview Messaging, Android users can send messages through their messaging app to any of the contacts in their phonebook (if they are both using Android devices), even if a contact hasn't downloaded the same messaging app. Recipients can reply to these messages even if the messaging app isn't installed. This feature helps users to more easily reach their contacts, creating a more seamless way to connect with friends. Users have full control over this feature, and can turn off App Preview Messaging in the Google Services settings on Android.
We realize that making it easy to reach the right contact isn't just a challenge for our users — it's also a challenge for many messaging app developers. So, we're also opening up this feature to developers with an early access program, allowing them to extend the reach of their messaging app. To ensure that we're building a great experience for users, we're starting with an early access program with several partners and will expand the program over time. This feature is specifically for messaging apps, so if you're a messaging app developer stay tuned for more information on how to participate in previewing this new feature.