Google Introduces Chat In Android Phones To Counter Apple iMessage

Google Pixel 2 XL

Hollis Johnson Business Insider

Google has now announced that it will be pausing the work on Allo and instead focus on "Chat", a new RCS based messaging standard.

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the next-generation messaging standard having expanded character set, messaging size overcoming SMS and MMS. Messages with Chat won't be encrypted, though, so it's important to remember this fact if you're wanting your messages to have a little more safeguarded protection, and in this case you'll still have to use messaging apps that offer this, and on Android those are a little more scarce though there are options.

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However, because Chat uses "Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services", for it to work properly Google will have to rely on the telecom operators. And now, the company has chose to go all in on RCS with the introduction of "Chat".

Nevertheless, Google's ambitious plans will all depend on the cooperation from mobile network operators, and how much they are willing to switch to Chat over SMS. Another important point to note is that since not all users are going to have Chat turned on at the same time, if one user with Chat sends a message to someone who doesn't have it yet, then the message for the recipient will default back to a standard SMS message.

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The reason this is significant is because going forward, Android Messages will function more like its counterpart on iOS; it will combine SMS with internet-based chat, letting you use the app as an instant messaging platform when you have internet connectivity on your smartphone. The new app will be offering read receipts, typing indicators, group texts and full resolution of photos and videos. Currently, Chat is supported by 2 OS providers. Essentially, Chat will allow Google to compete with platforms such as iMessage directly through the Messages app.

55 carriers, 11 manufacturers, and two operating system makers (Google and Microsoft) have signed up to Chat so far. It's unclear when or if Apple will support RCS.

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After testing its fortunes with the Google Hangouts, Voice, Google Talk, and Google+, the company is back with yet another messaging product. So it's nearly bye bye time for Allo within Google, with Chat being the new messaging plan from the Android maker.

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