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Google's RCS to upgrade SMS on Android phones

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, February 28, 2017  /  03:21 pm
Google's RCS to upgrade SMS on Android phones

So far, 27 device manufacturers have agreed to support RCS, including LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, Nokia, MyPhone, QMobile, as well as Google’s own Pixel and Android One phones. (Shutterstock/File)

Google has recently announced its Rich Communications Services, also known as RCS and Android Messages, to compete with Apple’s iMessage, Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Features of RCS include options for group chats, high-resolution photo sharing, reading receipts and typing indicators—an upgrade from the standard, no frills SMS service that Android phones currently support. 

"Last year, it was about getting alignment with different partners and working to get the technology pieces in place; this year, it's about launching the service, so subscribers can start using the enhanced features," said Amir Sarhangi, head of RCS at Google, in an interview.

So far, 27 device manufacturers have agreed to support RCS, including LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, Nokia, MyPhone, QMobile, as well as Google’s own Pixel and Android One phones. According to TechCrunch, this move brings the number of subscribers now potentially covered by the messaging system to about 1 billion. 

Read also: Android users can now search Google while offline

“Android Messages supports RCS, SMS and MMS so people can message all their friends regardless of their network or device type,” said Google in a blog post. [https://blog.google/topics/rcs/delivering-rcs-messaging-android-users-worldwide/]

As of now, messages are still limited to just text for the average consumer. But for businesses, an Early Access Program is available, which would be for “businesses to learn and build with the technology, influence the roadmap and standards, and be first to offer their customers an upgraded messaging experience,” according to Sarhangi. (sul/kes)