Google Spruces Up SMS App as Answer to Apple iMessage

March 1, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The Google vs. iPhone debate is something which will never see its conclusion fairly, be it with iPhone and Google Pixel, or Android and iOS. However, there are several individual strands in which Google lags behind Apple by fair margins, and vice versa. One such feature is Apple’s iMessage to which Google has continuously failed to give a fitting response despite having messaging applications launched like Google Allo.

But that could be about to change, as Google is finally expected to be coming out with what the tech-world has been anticipating for a while: Rich Communication Service. For those unaware, RCS is the feature that will let an SMS expand by supporting media transfer including images, GIFs and videos similar to those of in messenger platforms. Media embedded messages would be received as plain text message if RCS is not supported in the recipient device.

iMessage has been supporting enhanced communication for quite a time, and it has been a prime reason for a decent share of users to stick with iPhone. Now, Google is said to have expanded its carrier tie-up for including the RCS feature, which is also what’s required to push the message service as a native one in Android devices.

27 new partners have been revealed to have joined the list of supporters in tie-up with Google. The bulky list now include major manufacturers like Motorola, Nokia, LG, Sony, HTC, etc. and carriers including Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Globe. Together, those would make Google’s native RCS platform cover over one million users globally.

Apart from that, Google has also updated its Google Messenger app by changing its name to Android Messages. The move is considered to be the kick-starter for RCS support in Google’s SMS app. If that’s the case, future Android devices could have Android Messages as the default messaging application, provided Google manages to lure the remaining smartphone vendors to signing the accord.

There have been no big changes introduced in Android Messages. But we can expect to see it soon going by the way Google is expanding its RC tie-ups.

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