Google Bringing RCS 'Chat' Messaging To Android To Take On Apple's iMessage

Google wants to get Android messaging right

Google wants to get Android messaging

For starters, sending a full resolution image or video using MMS is impossible. Raise your hand if you really loved GChat.

Google is all set to re-write the rules of online chatting once and forever, and it aims to do that with nothing else than just Chat. Accord to the Verge, the giant aims to compete against Apple's own iMessage app by launching their all new Chat app. Confused? Yeah, I thought you might be.

Google is working on another messaging service, "Chat", in a bid to catch up with Apple iMessage.

In a report published yesterday in The Verge, Google confirmed that it was "pausing investment" on Allo, choosing instead to focus on the development of a new service called Chat. Chat is more like a carrier-based, open source service.

With Google Chat, Android text messaging will become much more like Apple's beloved iMessage. While Apple has not disclosed iMessage's usage statistics, a Business Insider study from 2017 found iMessage to be the most popular messaging service for teenagers in the United States, as teenagers receive almost twice as many messages on iMessage than Facebook Messenger and more than three times than Snapchat.

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Despite the new, more consumer-friendly name, Chat is more an extension of the company's previous efforts with Android Messages than a completely new product. Google has been reportedly working with telecom operators in the USA, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to expedite RCS implementation on "Chat". If Google can bring this service to fruition, admittedly, it would be pretty cool though.

The service is also backwards compatible with SMS so if you're texting somebody that uses a feature phone the RCS message would be converted back into an SMS. This Chat app will automatically turn on within the Android Messages app. Users who make chat using this new Chat app will be sent over RCS. Starting with Google Chat in 2005 (better known as Google Talk), the company has had multiple app launches - and failures - over the years, including Huddle, Google Voice, Google Messenger, Hangouts (and its multiple iterations), and finally, Google Allo in 2016.

The timeline of Google's attempts to make a cohesive chat client is at best confusing, at worst hostile to its userbase.

The only negative seems to be the imminent death of Google Allo. The tech giant is positive that numerous carriers would activate Chat services by the end of this year, but there might be some who could cause a delay. Google won't be encrypting messages end-to-end which, while is slightly concerning, probably isn't something to lose sleep over. The 11 OEMs that support RCS include LG, Huawei, Asus, Lenovo and Samsung.

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