Android Messages Silently Discards Dark Mode, Revamped UI, and Smart Reply Feature

Android Messages earlier this week received an update that brought offerings such as a dark mode and a Smart Reply feature. While that update was yet to reach the passes through a wider rollout, Googlehas suddenly rolled back the entire experience altogether. Instead of pushing a new update through Google Play to bring back the old Messages app, the search giant has apparently opted for a server-side update to completely discard the new features. The company has also brought back the dated interface that was replaced by Material Theme elements in the last version.

As noticed by a Reddit user, the Android Messages app moved back to the pre-update experience all of a sudden. “I updated the Messages app earlier today and turned in the dark mode but when I opened the app a few minutes ago it cracked and I no longer have the dark mode option [sic],” the user wrotein a Reddit post.

We were able to spot the change on one of our devices running Android 8.1 Oreo on which we originally tested the update earlier this week. Interestingly, we didn’t install any new version of Android Messages from Google Play. The changes, however, happened unexpectedly the moment we accessed the app after seeing the Reddit post. The Messages app interface went back to its previous form and abandoned the Material Theme elements as well as features including the dark mode and Smart Reply that lately made it a strong contender against Facebook’s Messenger and proprietary messaging apps from manufacturers such as OnePlus and Samsung.

Google hasn’t revealed any details about the reversal. However, it is safe to say that the recent changes will soon make a comeback to Android Messages. There might be some bugs that caused the rollback.

We’ve reached out to Google for clarity on the development and will update this space accordingly upon the receipt of an official response.