Promotional image of two smartphones.
/ Marketing picture of 2 mobile phones.


Will RCS ever matter? The requirement has actually been spending time for several years as an upgrade to the aging provider SMS texting requirement, however given that the providers supervise of it, the Rich Interaction Service (RCS) has actually been going no place quick. Google is obviously tired of waiting on the providers, and after releasing its own RCS service in the UK and France previously this year, the market giant is now bringing its own RCS execution to the United States, providers be damned.

Google is presenting RCS through the Google Messages app, Google’s ninth messaging app after Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Buzz, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts, Spaces, Allo, and Hangouts Chat. Users of Google’s app will ultimately see a notice to “Do more with Messages,” and after that they’ll have the ability to “make it possible for chat functions” which is RCS. Google states it will begin allowing this for United States users “in the coming weeks” and the service will be “broadly offered in the United States by the end of year.”

RCS is quite lame as a messaging requirement in 2019, however remember this is a replacement for SMS– the specification has actually been driven by the providers that are members of the GSMA. So you have actually got to reduce your expectations. RCS upgrades provider messaging with performance like typing indications, existence info, area sharing, group messages, longer messages, and much better media assistance. These are all things you would get out of any excessive immediate messaging app in the contemporary age, however as a carrier-integrated replacement for SMS, these essentials are still not there yet.

The service isn’t end-to-end encrypted, so Google or your provider ( or the NSA) might read your messages. It likewise treats your telephone number as your main identity, providing providers an unneeded quantity of power over your identity. Once again, this makes a lots of sense when providers are developing the specification. They wish to make themselves the center of your interaction life, and clear text provides a much better chance for money making. Why would a non-carrier wish to utilize this requirement, though?

Because RCS is so standard, it isn’t actually an excellent requirement for a messaging service. The only power RCS has originates from the truth that your provider may do it, which would quickly update the standard messaging service it uses on (a minimum of brand-new) phones. RCS’s power originates from it being the default. Google’s variation of RCS isn’t the default, however. You require to download the Google Messages app to utilize it, and Google Messages isn’t the default texting app on a lot of phones. The app is not needed to deliver together with the Play Shop like Gmail, Google Maps, Browse, and other top-tier Google apps, so most OEMs do not deliver it at all. Rather, they choose their own messaging app.

Many users would need to download the app, go into the system settings to make it the default app, and after that go into the Google Messages settings to switch on RCS. By getting rid of RCS’s defaultness, Google essentially took a minimal, inadequately crafted chat requirement and rolled its own excessive messaging service with it. And what’s the point of that?

is possible for RCS executions to be federated with a function called “Universal Profile” which permits something like Google RCS to speak with provider RCS. For this to work, providers would require to.
Do The Right Thing and opt-in to interoperability, however, and the entire factor Google is rolling its own RCS service is since providers.
can’t be counted on to do the ideal thing. Up until now, just Sprint and United States cellular have actually carried out Universal Profile. It is likewise presumed that Apple will never ever support RCS on its gadgets, as it might threaten the supremacy of iMessage in locations like the United States.

And as far as immediate messaging services go, Google’s “Messages” app is bad. A huge part of the appeal of iMessage and Google Hangouts is that there are customers for whatever, so your messages do not need to be locked to your mobile phone any longer. Google Hangouts has apps for Android phones and tablets, iOS phones and tablets, an always-on Chrome app that deals with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, a site at, combination with, and even apps for smartwatches.

Google Messages has … an Android app? Oh, there’s likewise a site that needs you to visit with your phone, rather of simply visiting with your Google account. Hangouts and Google Messages RCS are no place near similar, and RCS is an across-the-board downgrade, aside from the truth that Google in fact appreciates the Messages app, in the meantime, and the business wishes to eliminate Hangouts.

Google’s initial strategy was to get providers onboard with its RCS execution, which it developed when it obtained Jibe Mobile in2015 The providers were not thinking about turning over messaging control to Google, however, and after years and years of petitioning from Google and customers, ultimately Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile went behind Google’s back to produce the “ Cross Provider Messaging Effort (CCMI)” in October2019 The 4 providers will now start to execute RCS together and want to release a brand-new app by at some point next year.

Google appeared totally captured off guard by the advancement and ultimately released an action stating “We stay dedicated to dealing with the Android community to even more boost the messaging experience on Android with RCS.”

The earlier Google RCS launch in the UK and France may have been a caution shot, however it appears with the providers stating they’re doing RCS by themselves, Google is less concerned about stepping on toes with its variation of RCS. Google has stopped working at messaging an amazing variety of times– is an extremely standard messaging platform without any file encryption and minimal platform compatibility actually enough for it to prosper this time?