Android Messages

Google rebrands Messenger to Android Messages, pushing RCS

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Google has rebranded their Messenger app to Android Messages, bringing a push to Rich Communications Services (RCS).

The app will now be installed on default on handsets from over 20 phone makers and with RCS gaining adoption by several carriers around the world, Google is now pushing for Android Messages as the default messaging app for the platform.

Basically, RCS is part of the new Advanced Messaging standard designed to greatly improve messaging functionality that comes installed on phones by default. Along with text messages, RCS will also allow for higher quality picture messaging up to 10MB in size, group chats, location sharing, and even video calls by default.

The service also supports read receipts and typing indicators that you’re more than likely already familiar with from other services.

Unlike SMS, the new technology can be integrated with contact apps to see who else supports the service, as well as for sharing contacts and groups.

The aim is to provide a consistent interoperable messaging service across mobile device and networks for Android. Apple already has its massively popular iMessage service. While positioned to some extent as a way Google can compete with iMessage, the problem with RCS is that it’s not universally adopted. Unlike with iMessage, which works with any Apple device, RCS is made available by carriers.

To make sure Android devices can enjoy all the features RCS offers, Google is also working with the following manufacturers to make Android Messages the default messaging app on their smartphones:

  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Sony
  • HTC
  • Micromax
  • Nokia
  • ZTE
  • Archos
  • LeEco
  • BQ
  • Cherry Mobile
  • Condor
  • Fly
  • General Mobile
  • Lanix
  • Lava
  • Kyocera
  • MyPhone
  • QMobile
  • Symphony
  • Wiko

Google state that more partners will be added in the future, and Android Messages will be the default texting app on Google’s Pixel and Android One devices as well.

One notable excepton on that list is Samsung. Back in November of last year, Samsung purchased a RCS business from NewNet Communication Technologies called NewNet Canada, to operate independently as a unit of Samsung.

Early Access Program

The company is launching an Early Access Program for businesses to learn and build with Jibe, so that their texts can offer richer information to customers as more and more carriers adopt the universal RCS profile.

Amir Sarhangi, Head of RCS at Google said,

“A message from your airline reminding you to check in for a flight can now take advantage of rich media and interactivity to provide a full check-in experience, complete with boarding pass, visual flight updates, and terminal maps on demand, all directly within the messaging experience,”

“Businesses can also have a branded messaging experience with information about the business and the ability to share content like images, video clips, and GIFs.”

The following companies and messaging partners will be the first to partake in Google’s Early Access Program: Virgin Trains, Walgreens, BlaBlaCar, Gamestop,, IHG, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Papa Murphy’s, Philips, Sky, Sonic Drive-In, Time Inc., 3C, CLX Communications, Experian Marketing Services, MessageBird, mGage, Mobivity, Movile, Vonage through Nexmo API Platform, OpenMarket, and Waterfall.

Google will be showing off RCS-enabled messaging at Mobile World Congress next week.
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Updated: Febraury 23, 2017
Category: Communication
Price: Free
Requirements: Varies with device
In-app Products:No[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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