It took more than half a decade, but the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol is finally making its way to ubiquity in the United States. After similar announcements from T-Mobile i AT&T earlier this year, verizon (parent company engadget) he said today works with Google to bring a replacement for the next generation of SMS to all its customers.
By the end of the year, existing Verizon subscribers using the Operator’s Message + application will have full access to the RCS package, including real-time typing indicators and read confirmations. Then, starting next year, all the company’s phones will be shipped with Google messages pre-installed application. Once that happens, RCS enjoys like end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conversations and the ability to send photos in full resolution will be a remote app.
To say that today’s announcement is a significant milestone for Google would be an understatement. The company was pushing RCS for years, and sometimes it seemed like the project was destined like many Google ones past mobile messaging efforts. Due to the need for payment through the operator, the protocol did not “work” only as iMessage, at least not initially.
In the early years, even if you tried to download Google Messages, there was no guarantee that you would get any of the promised benefits. This is because, more often than not, the person you are messaging with did not have an RCS-enabled application installed on their phone, nor did they have a carrier that was on board the platform. This meant that most Android chats were set as SMS by default. Given that Google Messages is now the default value for most new Android phones in the U.S., this is a situation that should be the exception, not the norm. Today’s announcement also leaves Apple in a strange position. Once an innovator in space, the company is now from the outside looking at a more widely adopted ecosystem.
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