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Google's iMessage version of Google is here. But there is a catch



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."

Chat, which launched in the UK and France in June, is an easier way to send text to Android. Like iMessage, it supports read and ellipse characters to indicate when people are typing. Chat also allows people to send texts over Wi-Fi so they can save their cellular data. And it allows them to send higher resolution images and videos.

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 decided to take the initiative themselves."

Like iMessage, users can opt in or deactivate the service if they don't want to. All Messengers in the United States will be able to chat with each other via RCS, as well as with Samsung ( SSNLF ) Sprint and US Cellular messaging users. [1
9659008] Routing RCS messages is more complicated than other messaging applications, but Google ( GOOGL ) made it easier by providing RCS chat directly through your own servers instead of waiting for carriers to offer them.

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.

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Then there's the fact that the networks of the big four US carriers – Verizon ( VZ ) AT&T ( T ) sprint ( S ] ] and T-Mobile ( TMUS ) – currently unable to connect to each other via RCS. They recently announced they would team up next year, and Google said it was "willing to work with any carrier to connect its RCS users."
However, carriers' own text messaging apps may be at odds with Android Messages on the Google app, according to The Verge.

"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.


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