The iMessage version of Android is based on a wireless standard called Rich Communication Services (RCS) and should replace SMS texts.
"Text messaging is largely based on the SMS standard, which lacks many modern features such as sharing high-quality photos and media or messaging over Wi-Fi," said Sanaz Ahari, managing director of Google products. "We just felt we had to address the needs of the user."
Dan O'Connell, an analyst at research firm Gartner, said Google has long needed to catch up with Apple's iPhone and RCS is the way to go.
"They hoped that service providers would work on RCS support themselves," he said. "But it was happening very slowly, so I think
But implementation may not be as seamless as Google had hoped.
First, there is the privacy issue. Unlike iMessage, WhatsApp and Signal, RCS does not offer end-to-end encryption. Google may still technically see messages as they arrive on their servers and may have to forward them to the authorities if requested. This can worry Android users and security advocates.
"Google's servers interact with the servers of the carrier's services and to make sure everything is fully synchronized carries a degree of risk," says O & # 39; Connell, a Gartner analyst. This can be a problem, "if Google makes an update and it does not spread to carriers."
Google has tried different chat solutions in the past – Allo, Hangouts, Duo and Android Messages. And despite its history of non-functional messaging, Android has dominated the market through its numerous partnerships with carriers and lower prices. In 2018, an astounding 74% of smartphones sold worldwide are moving to Android, according to Gartner.