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Android: Google’s RCS messaging: Texting on Android phones is set to fetch loads higher – CNET


Android: google-hq-sede-mountain-survey.jpg

Google is launching a large change to its Android Messages app.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Texting on Android phones is set to fetch loads higher, Google stated Thursday. The maker of the generally mature working machine is launching a vital change to its Messages app in the US that will modernize texting on Android phones. The change will consist of several positive aspects that iPhone users have long enjoyed in iMessages, along with read receipts and exiting neighborhood chats. RCS messaging is unquestionably one of essentially the most important steps Google has interested by Android, which lags some distance behind Apple’s iOS by system of texting. (Here’s how the RCS texting app change compares to Apple’s iMessages app.)

The extra special-anticipated change is made imaginable by the rollout of a technology called RCS, or Rich Verbal substitute Services. RCS is supposed to interchange SMS, or Brief Message Service, a stalwart nonetheless drained protocol that is bigger than 25 years outdated

The change will give you positive aspects along with: 

  • Chat over Wi-Fi
  • Sending and receiving excessive-resolution photos and videos 
  • Read receipts
  • Typing indicators
  • Community chat naming
  • Including and placing off of us from neighborhood chats

In an interview, Sanaz Ahari, director of product management for Google’s communications companies and products, acknowledged the change was long overdue, asserting the SMS protocol currently mature in the Android machine lacks “lacks the positive aspects users place aside a question to from unusual messaging.”

“These are desk stakes positive aspects,” Ahari stated. “It’s a needed step in the ethical direction.”

People can flip on RCS by opening up the Android Messages app and, when precipitated, enabling the chat positive aspects. If yet every other Android cell phone moreover has RCS enabled, textual swear messages will robotically narrate the unusual protocol. Google is doing a uninteresting rollout and fully about 1% of Android phones will fetch the change Thursday. Most of us in the US will fetch the unusual positive aspects “by the reside of the 365 days.”

One feature that is severely lacking is reside-to-reside encryption, which secures messages so fully the sender and receiver can read them. It has grow to be a privacy current in messaging apps, along with Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp and Fb Messenger. Ahari stated the company continues to ogle the scenario.

“It’s a moderately energetic topic,” Ahari stated when requested why reside-to-reside encryption is no longer at all times genuinely incorporated. She stated there are “technical complexities,” as smartly as ethical and policy implications. Google moreover has to mediate about its ecosystem of partners, which contains wireless carriers, cell phone makers and Zero.33 parties. She stated Google doesn’t read messages or narrate them for personalized ad-focusing on. 

With RCS, messages will hasten along with the hump thru Google’s servers, stated Drew Rowny, Google’s product lead for Messages. Which system Google would must note regulation enforcement requests if, impart, it was issued a subpoena. But Rowny stated Google deletes messages from its servers as quickly as they’re sent, so it is much less doubtless it could perchance perhaps have the knowledge to surrender. 

Android: ‘We must fetch our possess home in expose’

The RCS announcement has been a protracted time coming. The company has been working on the initiative since 2016. Google presented RCS in the UK and France in July. Rolling out the product hasn’t been as straightforward as accurate building and releasing it luxuriate in any varied Google carrier. Ensuing from of Android’s labyrinthine ecosystem, the company has to navigate a tangled net of carrier and instrument partners. 

Texting on Android will consist of issues luxuriate in typing indicators and read receipts. 


Composed, Google is taking price of the RCS rollout moderately than relying on the carriers to enact it — a regular step for a company so dependent on its ecosystem of partners. The hunt big took the the same route when rolling out RCS in the UK and France. Ahari stated Google has been in “discontinuance contact” with the carriers, and stressed that they all broadly desire messaging to be powered by RCS. Remaining month, the Four major US carriers — VerizonAT&TT-Mobile and Slip — teamed as much as manufacture the Shocking Carrier Messaging Initiative, a joint enterprise aimed toward standardizing RCS.

Google wielding its energy to purchase price of the RCS rollout would possibly perchance apprehension regulators already scrutinizing the company’s market dominance. The tech big goes thru quite so much of antitrust investigations in the US. In Europe, Google was fined Google $5 billion final 365 days for anticompetitive practices regarding Android. 

While Thursday’s commence is centered on the US, it is a needed switch for Android as a complete, which accounts for practically 9 of every 10 smartphones shipped. The strength of Android’s companies and products is moreover crucial to Google’s overall industrial since the working machine serves as a gateway to the company’s varied companies and products, luxuriate in search and maps. 

The RCS change is moreover serious by system of Google’s competition with Apple. iPhone users usually deride Android’s texting deficiencies. They moreover mock the fairway bubble mature to inform Android users on iMessage. The adaptation in platforms usually causes glitches in neighborhood texts. 

While the RCS commence is a huge step, it is no longer the “reside-all, be-all,” Ahari stated. It could perhaps also merely no longer form a incompatibility in Apple-Android interactions unless Apple helps it on iPhones. Google would luxuriate in that, even though it is no longer at all times going Apple would surrender the build barrier, which legitimately keeps some of us from switching to Android. (Apple didn’t reply to a search knowledge from for reveal.) 

The commence is set getting texting on Android as much as par moderately than solving the scenario of the “green bubble distress,” Ahari stated. “We must fetch our possess home in expose.” 


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