freemexy: What is RCS messaging? The new Android texting service explained

What is RCS messaging? The new Android texting service explained

30 Jul 2019 at 03:41am
What is RCS messaging? The new Android texting service explained

While there have been many attempts on Google's part to launch one, there is one thing that Android has always lacked: a true messaging competitor to Apple's iMessage. That could all be set to change as Google embarks on a large-scale rollout of the RCS (rich communication services) messaging platform, adding a raft of new features to messaging on Android.

But what exactly is RCS, what features does it have and which devices is it be available on? Read on to find out the answers to all these questions and more. Rich communication services is a protocol between both mobile operators and phones. The overall aim of RCS is for it to eventually replace SMS and MMS messaging, the formats we're all familiar with as they have been around for years, but they have limitations.

RCS was first formed in 2007 and was taken over by the GSM Association (GSMA), the industry trade body that represents mobile operators worldwide, in 2008. In 2016, the GSMA agreed on a Universal Profile - a set of standards that all mobile operators, phone manufacturers and software providers can use to help implement RCS on devices.

RCS messaging is very much like WhatsApp, where live chat can take place, including multi-media support, with everything handled via the data network. It's seen as a rival to Apple's iMessage service, although there are some subtle differences between how these services operate.For a number of years, RCS has been widely supported by mobile phone networks, software and devices. It's supported by the stock Messages app available on Android. The problem has been that mobile phone networks have been handed responsibility for support and few have moved on it.

There are probably a number of reasons for that - dropping SMS or MMS tariffs and working on cross-network functions are likely to have seen RCS as low priority.

However, as of June 2019, Google has taken the reins back. This will see RCS messaging supported on Android devices and using Google's servers rather than the mobile phone network's servers. Google has said, however, that if a network supports RCS, its own servers can be used for transfer of messages.

That will get the system off the ground, bringing a new messaging platform to Android users - but Google is only targeting France and the UK initially. In the UK, the service went live on 28 June 2019 for some /a>

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