Facebook redesigns Facebook Messenger for Android, updates main Android app, too

Facebook has updated both the Messenger and Facebook for Android Apps today, according to an announcement on the company’s newsroom page. The Messenger application has seen an entire redesign while the Facebook for Android app includes many of the same features in addition to security and stability improvements.

The messenger application now allows users to swipe to the left anywhere on the screen to see which friends are online and available to chat. Users can also add friends that they communicate with the most to the top as Favorites.

The redesign also makes messaging look more like SMS messaging instead of like email or how it looks on desktop. This makes it easier to see who has said what, with the user’s messages appearing in speech bubbles aligned to the right and friends’ messages appearing on the left. On select Android devices, users will also be able to text their phone contacts right out of the Messenger. This consolidates all text messages and Facebook messages all in one place. This is only a select few Android devices, but Facebook says more will be supported in the future.

The company also notes that an iOS update for Messenger is coming soon.

The Facebook for Android application has been updated with the same conversation redesign, and there is now a button in the top right corner of News Feed that tells users which of their friends are available to chat. It also tells users which of their friends are active so they can know when to expect a reply. It has also been updated to fix bugs for multi-photo uploads and made more secure and reliable.

According to The Verge, some Facebook for Android users are also seeing a new feature that syncs the photos they take on their phone to their Facebook account. The Verge calls it “a hybrid of Google+’s instant photo-upload feature and Apple’s Photostream, which uploads any picture you take to the cloud and syncs it with your other iOS devices and computers.”