Do not install the Google Messages beta update on Android 14

While Android 14 Beta 1.1 from last week should mitigate some issues, a different bug appeared in the latest Google Messages beta today that renders the RCS client unusable.

Released today, version20230428_01_RC00″ causes the app to frequently crash and refuse to open if the Pixel phone has a light theme enabled.

Oddly enough, the app will start with the system dark theme to show your recent conversation, but tapping the app immediately crashes. There’s a weird gray background and hard-to-read black text on the Pixel 7 Pro.

For those affected, go to App info (by long-pressing the Messages icon on your home screen) and tap the full menu in the top-right corner for ‘Uninstall updates’. The app will be usable again after this, but there may be some initial issues with using an older version of Messages. Additionally, you can leave the app’s beta program (or do so via the Play Store menu) and then update to the latest stable version.

Given the seriousness of this issue, Google should soon release a Messages update that addresses this issue for Android 14 Beta users. We don’t see any issues on Pixel phones running Android 13 on the same version.

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