The Google Material Theme offering dark themes had slowly started to roll out for Android Messages on 16 August. This new version, 3.5.048, which was being gradually picked up by users was very slyly taken down by Google by 19 August. Google had reverted the look of Android Messages back to how it was to before the new feature had taken over.
But now according to a new report in 9to5google, the Google Material Theme for Android Messages is coming back again. The new version is said to be rolling out today with the dark mode.
The update was first spotted by Artem Russakovskii of Android Police who took to his Twitter account to share the details in a tweet, speaking about the resurrection of the new version equipped with the recent features like Smart Reply.
The update for the Android Messages app can be installed through the Google Play Store, or alternately, you can also choose to download an APK file from APK Mirror. The site notes that the user must first run the app once, then force close it and finally restart the app to activate it.
The changes comprise of a completely white background, the Google Sans font and also the replacement of the '+" icon with the 'Start Chat' text which shows up by default. The text then is replaced by the icon which is used when a new message pops up as one scrolls down.
The dark mode can be enabled by selecting the three-dot menu from the top right corner of the screen which gives the 'Enable Dark Mode' option.
Google hasn't provided any explanation as to why it had rolled back the feature in the first place but were glad they brought it back.