Hands-on with the official Facebook Messenger app for Windows 10

At long last, we finally get an official Facebook Messenger app for Windows 10. Not for Windows 10 Mobile, mind you. Only Windows 10.

In typical Universal Windows Platform fashion, the app is partitioned into to main sections: the left column helps you select whom you want to chat with, along with a group or person search bar on the top, and menu tabs on the bottom. The right side is the main course, where all your hot chatting action and intense moral discussion on the ethics of human sacrifice take place.

Of particular interest to this content section are the buttons at the bottom, which include the ability to search, select, and insert stickers with a variety of expressions. These stickers are in fact separated into packs that can be downloaded wholesale for frequent use. Then there’s the GIF button, which allows you to search for various animated expressions and dank memes to impress your shallow-minded friends with.

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One thing I found particularly interesting was the audio recording UI. In order to use it, you have to touch and hold on the record button to begin recording. Let go, and the app will finish and send your recording. If you want to cancel the recording, you simply drag your finger or mouse off the record button before letting go. A pretty neat, if a bit unnecessary, UI trick.

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Now in perusing the app you’ll notice that virtually everything about this app’s UI screams direct iOS port, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. We saw this exact phenomenon with its sister Instagram app, and the iOS UI was used to great effect.

Unfortunately, if you think this translates to a polished official release you’d be terribly wrong. From jumpy loading, to missing messages, as usual with the new age of agile, adrenaline filled development we just can’t expect things to work consistently.

Ultimately, this is a simple, easy to use messaging app that’s about as generic as can be. And truth be told, that’s just fine.

Download the Facebook Messenger app for Windows 10 here.

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