Published On: Fri, Feb 24th, 2017

RCS, Google’s answer to iMessage, expands to 27 some-more carriers and OEMs

While messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat and WeChat hillside in ever some-more users, facilities and relations with pivotal brands, and Apple’s iMessage continues to play clever with iPhone users, Google currently announced a large step brazen in a possess plan to move a native, enhanced, local messaging use to some-more Android inclination — a play for Google to assistance carriers lift their possess local messaging game, and stay in a messaging diversion itself in a future.

Today a Android hulk is announcing that 27 some-more carriers and device manufacturers have sealed on to a list of ancillary partners for Rich Communications Services (RCS) — an beginning to supplement some-more energetic facilities like organisation chat, high-res print sharing, review profits and typing indicators as defaults to the basic, local Android Messages SMS discuss app, that will now incorporate RCS alongside MMS and SMS services. Additionally, it’s also opening adult a new module for brands and messaging providers to rise some-more extended messages for a platform.

Carrier partners include Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Globe, while OEMs now include LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, ZTE, Micromax, Nokia, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, Lanix, LeEco, Lava, Kyocera, MyPhone, QMobile, Symphony and Wiko, in further to Google’s possess Pixel and Android One handsets. It brings a series of subscribers now potentially lonesome by Android Messages to about 1 billion globally.

The proclamation currently will meant that these carriers and these handset makers will be preloading Android Messages on new inclination to reinstate a current, customary Messages app. For those handsets already in a marketplace on those conduit networks, users would need to download a new app in an update.

The news is timed in a specific way: we are days divided from the big MWC mobile discussion in Barcelona, and this is Google’s approach of observant it is stability to creation some-more inroads into that market.

Google’s attribute with mobile carriers has blown prohibited and cold over a years. In this case, Google is a collaborator and friend, operative with carriers to yield a one use opposite all their Android inclination that doesn’t banish them to a purpose of “bit pipe” in a approach that OTT apps like WhatsApp do.

But initiatives like Project Fi spell a opposite fate, where a hunt hulk is constructing and charity finish phone packages to consumers for a fragment of what they compensate directly to carriers, potentially melancholy these carriers’ bread-and-butter business in a longer term. (Google is adding new facilities like Voice over LTE support to Project Fi all a time.)

The RCS news, however, is a clear comfortable wind.

For Google, RCS represents a approach of removing control of a messaging knowledge and enhancing it to contest improved opposite a cadre of renouned messaging apps, and a iPhone-native iMessage. This is a clever story to sell to carriers, who have found users dump off their messaging networks in preference of other apps, ensuing in mislaid revenues and new resources in a carriers’ networks. This is a longish-term diversion for Google, that has been building out a efforts to enhance RCS given appropriation Jibe Mobile behind in 2015.

Developing improved SMS services opposite mixed operators means that a messages will be interoperable (what we send on one network and handset will be seen that approach when perceived on another network and handset) in a same approach that apps are operative currently though SMS has usually managed to in a many pared-down, text-only scenarios. But maybe some-more importantly, it will let Google and those carriers start to supplement other kinds of services and income era on tip of simple messaging.

“RCS will ascent today’s business messaging knowledge by enabling brands to send some-more useful and interactive messages,” writes Amir Sarhangi, Google’s conduct of RCS (who had been a CEO of Jibe behind in a day), citing interactive SMS messages for flight-check-ins with boarding passes and depot maps. “Businesses can also have a branded messaging knowledge with information about a business and a ability to share calm like images, video clips, and gifs.”

To that end, Google is also announcing an Early Access Program for “businesses to learn and build with a technology, change a roadmap and standards, and be initial to offer their business an upgraded messaging experience,” Sarhangi notes.

Early users embody Virgin Trains, Walgreens, BlaBlaCar, Gamestop,, IHG, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Naturas, Papa Murphy’s, Philips, Sky, SONIC® Drive-In, Subway, and Time Inc. will work with messaging partners 3C, CLX Communications, Experian Marketing Services, MessageBird, mGage A Vivial Company, Mobivity, Movile, Vonage by Nexmo API Platform, OpenMarket, Waterfall, and Zipwhip to furnish RCS messages.

Today’s new patron wins come about a week after Google announced another RCS conduit with poignant reach: Norway’s Telenor, that runs several operations opposite Asia as good as in a home country. Others that have sealed on to Google’s RCS embody Sprint and Rogers in Canada.

Google also pronounced that it will be display off examples of RCS messaging during Mobile World Congress subsequent week.

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