26 April 2019
SMS has stopped being the favorite mode of messaging long back for most of us. Google is trying to bring in the next possible replacement of SMS as RCS or Rich Communication Services. This new messaging platform uses the internet to share messages, large text files, create rich groups, share high-resolution photos and videos across the platform, and offer read receipts like iMessage on iOS.
It has now partnered with Samsung, the biggest Android phone maker, to push RCS to masses. Google has announced that the new Galaxy phones, starting with the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8, will natively support RCS. This collaboration will also ensure that both Samsung’s and Google’s messaging app and RCS platform communicate easily with each other.
“This collaboration will ensure that Android Messages and Samsung Messages will work seamlessly together and with RCS messaging, enabling features like the ability to chat over Wi-Fi, create rich group chats, see typing indicators and read receipts, and share high-resolution photos and videos across platforms.” Google’s product management director, Sanaz Ahari stated.
While this bid to bring in iMessage like a platform to Android looks really interesting, however, fragmentation of Android and dependency on carriers remain a major hurdle. At MWC this year, Google announced that it has a backing from 40 carriers globally, a number that has risen to 55 now.
Google has now pulled half of its team from the Allo project, which never really took off, and deployed them to work on RCS platform for which it acquired RCS-centric Jibe mobile way back in 2015. Last year, even Samsung announced its own RCS platform.
With Google picking up Samsung as a partner, it could really push this platform to a wider audience and later other OEMs also picking up could accelerate the adoption across the Android ecosystem.