Google has ANOTHER new messaging app, because of course it does

The guttural moan that escaped my face hole when I saw a new messaging app from Google in the Play Store, entirely separate from Allo and Duo and Hangouts and Google Voice and everything else Google has elsewhere, was enough to send my dog running from the room. Can we get 10 minutes where Google seems focused on delivering a single cohesive messaging experience to its users please? Do we really need another app for talking to people with Google accounts?

It turns out, the answer is yes. I fully expected to hate this experience and spend the next 500 words giving Google hell for wasting everyone's time, but I'm pretty sure this is actually something I'm going to love using with my friends.

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It's called Supersonic, and it's not technically a Google app. In its current form, it'll never be a part of the core Google experience. The app itself is under the publishing name Area 120, because it's the creation of Google employees inside of an internal incubator program for building new and exciting apps. At its core, Supersonic is a walkie-talkie style voice chat app for your friends. You hold down the mic, speak, and the message is transcribed to text with a voice recording attached.

This is where things get kind of interesting. If you're actively chatting with a friend, those messages arrive in real-time and the voice autoplays as though you're on speakerphone with them. This means you can either send a quick message to be read later, or have a quick nearly real-time chat without a constant voice connection. It's less data being used, and if you're in a noisy place you can read instead of listen. You can also message in a group, which can be especially handy when you have chatty friends and are sick to death of Facebook Messenger.

This app will let me chat in a slightly more personal way with my closest friends

It also helps that the text translation is real time and remarkably accurate, given some of the Google text hilarity we've seen in the past. Part of the text transcription includes converting some of your words to emoji, which is either deeply frustrating or incredibly cool depending on your age. If you like this feature, and would like more emoji, the app allows you to submit phrase translations you'd like to see in the future.

While having another messaging app on my phone is the absolute last thing I wanted right now, I'm going to keep using Supersonic for a bit. Unlike Allo, I don't have to give a phone number. Supersonic isn't limited to a number of devices, and I don't have to import my whole Hangouts list if I don't want to. This app lets me chat in a slightly more personal way with my closest friends, and while that would be a nice thing to see built into one of my existing apps at some point this is actually kinda nice.

Check out Supersonic on Google Play (opens in new tab)

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • Google needs to make up their mind and make just one messaging app and work on it until it does what us users want it to do. Making all of the different apps that do basically the same thing seems like a waste of resources if you ask me.
  • Why must it be about the users in us?? What happens to the rest of the world?
  • Us, not U.S.
  • Article title: "Google has ANOTHER new messaging app, because of course they do"
    Article body: "It's called Supersonic, and it's not technically a Google app." I'm done reading Android Central. Can't take the clickbait anymore.
  • " it's the creation of Google employees inside of an internal incubator program for building new and exciting apps." Seriously sit the hell down, ffs.
  • At least you read the article, but look at the other comments on here - most of them are saying that Google doesn't need another messaging app, which this ISN'T. This is employees of Google playing around in their discretionary time and publishing an app under the "Area 120" incubator. Because people tend to not bother reading the full article, clickbait titles like this do way more harm than good and only serve to get more clicks (and advertising revenue).
  • I don't think that word means what you think it means...
  • Feel free to enlighten me on how this isn't a clickbait headline.
  • Is it a clickbait title, in my opinion no.. but and there is a big BUT. it's​ right on that line of almost being clickbait.
  • Thanks for being reasonable.
  • Of course it's clickbait. This is Android Central. I look forward to seeing this article recycled again in 3 months, 9 months and 12 months.
  • I did read the entire article before posting. Yes this is another messaging app. It might approach it a little differently but under the lipstick it is still just a messaging app.
  • Yeah this.
  • Yeah, this is stupid. I think 9to5Google are one of the only websites that made an honest title for this story.
  • agree... just unwanted rant in this article.. its like no googler should make msg app
  • I don't care how much you praise this. I don't need another messaging app. I just need Google to get their **** together and put out something like iMessage.
  • AMEN!
  • This.
  • Nope. I've learned my lesson after Google Reader and iGoogle was pulled out from under our feet, Unless it's G-mail (or YouTube... kinda, but face it, they rub people the wrong way every time they try to make it their own), Google will not support it the way it should be.
  • It's NOT a Google app.
  • Right. It's an app built by Google employees at Google who are on a team within Google....
  • MacroPolo is a much better solution to this type of walkie-talkie chat....
  • It would be if you could turn off the video.
  • It is fun to use and it does make me laugh when trying to decode what words the emojis are replacing before i play the message. For the kids who use emoji to speak already this could be a hit
  • Not available in my country?
  • Lol, Google.. You guys are crazy, I like you.. But you're crazy
  • Lol
  • "Google, we'll make a messaging app for every letter of the Alphabet"
  • 😂
  • This is getting comical and out of control.
  • ...........
  • Google's​ new saying that will be on all new commercials.. Google we have a messaging app for that.
  • Nasty
  • Any way to turn off the Emojis?
  • Is it cross-platform? I could see where it would be fun to chat with my niece like this throughout the day/week, from her iPad or my sister's iPhone.
  • Yes it is
  • It's "interesting".
    I'll play with it for a while.
    (I gotta rope in some other suckers to play with this.)
  • So google has reinvented Nextel?
  • "The app itself is under the publishing name Area 120, because it's the creation of Google employees inside of an internal incubator program for building new and exciting apps." Which means it will never be adopted. Or, if it does, will be butchered and abandoned for whatever Google will eventually replace Allo with in 3 years.
  • Microsoft does this too with their Garage platform, I think Next Lock Screen came out of that.
  • Quit enabling them by downloading their garbage apps. Russel did you threaten your family to get on this platform as well?
  • So this is the difference between Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Garage when publishing apps?
  • Why does Google keeps on doing this (not technically Google but...) What we really needs is integration: SMS/MMS and Messaging in just one app that can communicate on all platforms. Come on Google or Area 120, make it happen, we've been waiting forever!
  • soooo Hangouts... got it
  • It's like ppl keep forgetting every thing they keep asking for Hangout does... Only downside to Hangouts is it doesn't automatically switch between sms and the messenger
  • This isn't a message app...
  • I don't see why this functionality could not be included in Allo eventually.
  • I'm not even installing this one. I installed Allo, I installed Duo and I have two ongoing conversations in Allo with none in Duo. I can't do it again. When they come for my Hangouts it's going to be so depressing.
  • Pass
  • Lol. The comments......
  • I switched from ios to Android a year ago and think it's been balance positive over all for me...But the messaging app saga on Android continues to confuse the hell out of me. Only thing I miss from ios days is iMessage.
  • Google seems to have lost focus and direction. This is what happens when you just say, " Ohhhhh just get into little groups and do what you want". You have groups that are free to do what they want, but all you keep getting is video chat and messaging apps. Google!!!!!! that ship has sailed and you can't keep waving for it to turn around and pick you up. Company direction/guidance is a critical thing because without it you get the sling mud on the wall and throw darts effect.
  • This story is completely misleading. It is not a messaging app by Google.
  • I'll give it a try. I actually have a few of contacts who might like this app.
  • They want to make something useful? Make a messaging umbrella that can integrate with whatever app my buddy uses, support cross-app conversations, keeping track of who is on what. Now that would be great!
  • A company like Google that can't decide on a means of how to effectively communicate is going to have 'communication' issues. Google has great potential to create something that provides a unified messaging Android system, but they need focus this ability instead of fragmenting it through exploration which equates to end user frustration. Lack of communication and direction in any company is the downfall and demise of every great possibility.
  • Not available in the UK