GroupMe is a popular cross-platform group messaging app for Android, iOS, web, Windows Phone & Blackberry that needs no long introduction. A few days back, the company behind the app announced an invite-only beta of its updated Android variant (v4) for those interested in trying out its new look and features. If you missed out the news, fret not, because the app is now out of beta and available in the Play Store for everyone. Besides a totally revamped UI, the biggest addition in GroupMe v4 for Android comes in the form of the much-awaited tablet support. You can now invite anyone to existing groups by sharing a public URL, and sending direct messages to select contacts has also been made a lot easier; by just tapping a user’s avatar anywhere within the app, you can start chatting with them in private.
Apart from the feature and UI updates, the latest Android variant of GroupMe has gotten some serious attention in terms of performance improvements. As a result, the overall in-app navigation has become noticeably fast, instant switching back and forth between chats is no longer an issue, and managing your GroupMe groups & user profile is more convenient than ever before.
Once you log in to the app using your GroupMe or Facebook account, you’re greeted by the app’s brand new left sidebar listing your various group chats. It is also from here that you can take a peek at the latest news from GroupMe, head over to the app’s general preferences screen and most importantly, initiate a new group chat session by assigning it a custom title of your choice.
Slide the sidebar to the left, and you’ll have your selected chat session right before your eyes, complete with the messages, photos and locations shared among the group participants. Noteworthy changes on this screen include an uncluttered layout, sharper & clearer photos previews, and the option to share locations , complete with a miniscule map preview.
Dragging the chat screen towards left brings you to the current group screen, complete with visually-rich, large avatars, a Cover Photo-style custom group photo, and an action bar at the bottom to mute notifications for the group, add new members to it, share the group via public URL, and navigate to the group’s settings screen. You can slide the chat screen sideways to reveal the main sidebar or the group-specific pane (on the right side).
These latest changes currently apply to the Android variant of GroupMe only, and the app can be downloaded for free from the Play Store link provided below.