Google is rolling out RCS messaging to Android users in the US
The rollout of the successor to SMS is now underway in the US. Having brought RCS (Rich Communication Service) to the UK, Mexico and France, Google has started to deploy it in America.
The move comes as Google's frustration at carriers' apparent unwillingness to commit to RCS boiled over, leading the company to take the bull by the horns and start to push its own implementation of the standard.
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Google's decisiveness when it comes to RCS stands in marked contrast to Apple's apparent lack of interest, but the company's decision to roll out to the US may end up forcing the iPhone-maker to take notice.
But just what does the arrival of RCS mean for the average person? Long story short: a better messaging experience.
To make your conversations more seamless, we've worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services). When you and your friends message each other with these chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages. Plus, you'll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven't seen the latest messages.
Product management director Sanaz Ahari, goes on to say:
Chat features are already available for some of you in Messages, and today we're starting to broadly roll them out in the US If you already have Messages, you'll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don't have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the US by the end of year.
While not everyone will be happy to have to use Google's Messages app in order to benefit from RCS, in doing so they will be able to enjoy text messaging which is more akin to how things are in the likes of WhatsApp.