Google Messages with the Start Chat button displayed.

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Have you noticed that the default SMS app on your Android device is called Messages, with two blue speech bubbles overlapping on a white background? Perhaps without realizing it, you’ve been using Google Messages. Don’t worry if you don’t remember downloading it, as it usually comes pre-installed on most Android phones. But what exactly is the Google Messages app and how to use it? If you want to learn more, keep reading.

We’re going to give you a quick run-through of what Google Messages is, how it works, and why you might find it preferable to third-party messaging apps.