For many iPhone users, the biggest thing keeping them moving to Android is probably iMessage, Apple's SMS-controlled SMS messaging service. Google also wants to do the same when developing the RCS messaging application to bring similar features to iMessage to Android devices.
The problem is that a series of network operators around the world are lacking in deploying support for RCS. Even though Google has done many different ways to speed up the process, everything doesn't seem to change.
But according to the new report by The Verge, Google is deciding to put network operators aside to be responsible for deploying RCS to a large number of users.
Beginning later this month, owners of Android smartphones in France and the UK have official Messages applications that will have an additional RCS messaging option. The service will be marketed under a friendlier name – "Chat" – controlled by Google and will work on Android devices with different carriers.
This means, if you and your partner are living in the UK or France, and are using the Messages application on smartphones, you can both communicate with each other by RCS. The phone manufacturer or device version, as well as your registered carrier, will no longer be important.
So how will RCS message work?
The abbreviation for Rich Communication Services – RCS is an upgraded version of SMS, which we use to compile and send traditional text messages from one phone number to another. With SMS, you can only send a series of unencrypted text messages between devices. They are also stored for a while on servers owned by wireless carriers.
With RCS, you won't be confined to a text message sequence anymore. You can also send media files, such as images and videos, as well as hyperlinks or GPS coordinates directly linked to Google Maps. You can also receive messages read by the recipient, as well as whether or not your partner edited the message.
Initially Google wanted operators to control RCS. One of the problems with Apple's iMessage is that Apple controls the whole thing – it's never been a good thing to have an entity controlling an entire system. To avoid that, Google wants to help operators deploy their own services.
However, operators do not prioritize deployment and Android users continue to use SMS for many years.
With Google taking control, the carrier's ability to support RCS is no longer a problem. Now when you send an RCS message to someone, it will be transferred to Google's server and then Google delivers it to the recipient. If the recipient's phone is already pre-installed with Google Chat, they will receive an RCS message. If the recipient phone has not installed Google Chat, but the device and the network support RCS, they will receive an RCS message. If the above conditions are not met, they will receive SMS.
Although locked to phone numbers, RCS can also be used on computers through the web interface of Messages.
While Apple's iMessage works on a variety of devices – including desktops, laptops and tablets – because iMessage does not communicate based on phone numbers, Google's RCS messages are still locked into phone numbers, meaning is that you can only text from your phone number. However, you can still manipulate messages through the program on the desktop computer, for example web interface for Messages application, but even so, the device is still the device that plays the role of sending and receiving news. message, not auxiliary equipment.
Disadvantages of RCS
There are two biggest minus points when Google implements RCS messages itself.
At least at this point, RCS is not yet end-to-end encrypted. This means that the message between you and your partner can be read by a third party while on the move, possibly by Google servers, your network operators or hackers.
Even so, Google promises that end-to-end encryption will be available in the near future. They also promise that after the message is sent and the recipient has received it, it will be deleted from the Google server. Even though this is not as good as encryption, it is nonetheless a start.
Its second minus point is similar to Apple's iMessage, that Google will control these messages. With over 2 billion Android devices worldwide, most of them are smartphones, and through this RCS system, Google can control up to 75% of the total communication between communication devices worldwide.
When will the RCS be fully deployed?
Currently only two places in the world have RCS as English and French. According to Google, they are testing Chat on these relatively small areas to make sure everything works as planned. Then, of course, they will deploy this service to other parts of the world.
If you are disappointed why you haven't tested this feature yet, don't forget, Google introduced RCS three years ago and hasn't made any significant progress so far. If you have been able to wait that long, perhaps waiting for a while is not too big a problem.
Refer to Android Authority