Google Messages vs. WhatsApp: Which Is Better?

Google Messages vs. WhatsApp

Text messages are still one the principal means of communication. For many, it is their default option to contact others. And Google Messages and WhatsApp are two of the more commonly used platforms for text messaging. But which one is the better choice?

While Google Messages lets you send and receive texts offline, WhatsApp provides better data security and privacy. WhatsApp also provides better verification processes whereas Google Messages do not have such measures. 

Both Google Messages and WhatsApp have their positives and negatives. And in this article, we are going to discuss both sides of the argument in more detail.

We will explore the viability of both apps by comparing their interface, customizability, security, popularity, privacy policy, and many more. Let’s see who comes out on top!

Google Messages vs. WhatsApp: Differences

User Interface and Customization

The user interface (UI) is basically the way users interact with software. This includes the design and layout of the software, navigation, and, of course, customization. Customization is essentially how you can change various details to better suit your preference.

Google Messages

Google Messages have a basic and simple interface. All the conversations are listed chronologically. Meaning the most recent conversations are shown first. There is a search bar on top to find a specific conversation or any picture or video you might have sent. You can also pin conversations to give them a higher priority.

You can send pictures, videos, files, GIFs, stickers, and live locations using this app. You can also directly place a voice or video call from the app. When you place a call using Google Messages, the call will use your SIM card. 

In terms of customization, Google Messages is pretty limited. You have the option to change the theme between light and dark. You can also select which conversations can appear as bubble notifications. Additionally, you can employ Google Assistant for suggestions, smart replies, and suggested actions.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp offers all of the same basic features as Google Messages. The conversations are listed chronologically. You can pin, archive, or add a shortcut to any conversation. 

When it comes to customization, WhatsApp has a bit more variety. For example, you can change the background of your conversations on Whatsapp, which you cannot do in Google Messages. Additionally, you can change the app’s language from the settings. 

Bubble Notification

Google Messages can be displayed as bubbles on your phone’s screen. You can allow all conversations to appear as bubbles. Or you can select a few conversations and give them this permission.

Whatsapp does not have this feature available. Notifications in Whatsapp are limited to floating badges and chat heads.

File Upload

The maximum file size for all types of media (pictures, videos, voice messages, etc.) on Whatsapp is 16 MB. This applies to all platforms, be it your phone or computer. The maximum size of documents you can send on Whatsapp is 100 MB.

In contrast, you can send documents worth up to 50 MB when using Google Messages. 

Cross Platform Usability

Both Whatsapp and Google Messages support cross-platform usability. Meaning you can use the app to send and receive texts via another device. 

You can do this by using a browser and directly connecting via the web. Or you can download an additional app to run on your desktop. For WhatsApp, there is a dedicated app you can download on your PC. This will allow you to operate Whatsapp with all its features.

Google Messages, on the other hand, has an app that is available on the Microsoft store called “Phone link”. This will allow you to send and receive messages as well as make phone calls. 

Google Messages is restricted to Android devices. You cannot use it on your iPhones or iPads. But Whatsapp is available on iOS platforms. You have to download it from the Apple Store.

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Group Calls and Messaging

Google Messages does support group texting but not group calls. On the other hand, WhatsApp allows its users to add multiple participants in a single voice call or video chat. 

Font Size

Whatsapp has 3 different options for font size – small, medium, and large. In contrast, Google Messages allows you to pinch the screen to zoom in and out. You can enable this function from the settings. Or you can keep it disabled if you find the feature disrupting.

Data Security

This is a big one. Privacy and data security are two of the major concerns of the 21st century. Any app that has access to your contacts and other information will face scrutiny in this regard. So, let’s examine the level of security both apps provide.

WhatsApp

Whatsapp has long been thought of as a safe and secure means of communication thanks to its end-to-end encryption technology. This means that the only people allowed to see your messages are the ones that receive them. 

But WhatsApp has recently faced criticism about its data collection property. The app does collect data about your phone number, location, user habits, etc. This can be a big put-off for people who are very sensitive about their online presence and privacy.

Google Messages

Google Messages recently adopted end-to-end encryption technology. [1] But it is still in its beta version. Google’s end-to-end encryption is more limited compared to WhatsApp’s. [2]

For example, both users need to have the latest version of the app and enable chat features in the settings. WhatsApp employs data encryption in all of its conversations. You do not have to turn it on or off. This feature is always active when you use WhatsApp.

Additionally, Google Message encrypts messages between two individuals. But it does not provide the same support for group texting. 

Verification

WhatsApp has additional methods to verify your identity. For added security, you can enable two-step verification, which will require a PIN when registering your phone number with WhatsApp again. 

Google Messages does not have any additional verification method.

Status Upload

Similar to Facebook Messenger’s stories, you can post a status using WhatsApp. This can be in the form of a picture, short video, or GIF. The status can be 30 seconds long maximum and remain on your profile for 24 hours before disappearing automatically. You can remove it within 24 hours if you want.

Google Messages does not have any such feature.

Online Support

Whatsapp is an online platform. You cannot use it without a stable connection to the internet. Google Messages, in comparison, can work both online and offline. Most people use Google Message to send offline SMS. But you can also use the internet to send and receive texts and other media files. 

Pricing

Both Google Messages and Whatsapp are completely free. You can download and use all of their features without needing to pay.

Popularity 

Google Messages come pre-installed on many Android devices. So, it is no surprise to see its massive popularity. On the Play Store, it has more than 5 billion downloads. It has a rating of 4.4.

In contrast, WhatsApp is a downloadable app made by a different company. Yet it has still acquired more than 2 billion users globally. It has over 5 billion downloads on Play Store and has an average rating of 4.3.

FeatureWhatsAppGoogle Messages
CustomizationMoreLess
File UploadUp to 100 mbUp to 50 mb
Cross-platform UsabilityAvailable on Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidAvailable on Windows, Android
Offline UseNot possiblepossible
Data Security Better securityLimited security
Bubble NotificationAbsent Present 
Group CallsPossible Not possible
Status UploadPossible Not possible 

Google Messages vs. WhatsApp: Which Is Better?

Perhaps the biggest factor going for Google Messages is that it allows you to communicate even when offline. You simply need to have a SIM card in your phone. So, if you are looking for a simple app for your texting needs, Google Messages is the better choice.

However, if you want a bit of extra security and privacy, WhatsApp is the superior choice. Thanks to its universal end-to-end data encryption, WhatsApp is a much safer platform for sharing information than Google. Moreover, WhatsApp offers some additional options for customization, which Google Messages lack.

Conclusion

Both Google Messages and WhatsApp have their pros and cons. They offer different benefits to their users. You can choose the best of both worlds and use whichever app is more convenient for you in any given situation. 

  • Laura is a co-founder of Computer Zilla and an author. Her favorite topics are gaming related, but she is also obsessed with smart home gadgets. Probably that’s why she always says that her favorite pet is her robot vacuum cleaner Nunu.