The news that RCS or Rich Communication Services will soon replace the basic SMS on an Android smartphone has been around and it seems like it could soon happen, even though the various carriers won’t be the one starting it.
As carriers and smartphone makers still haven’t decided on the future of RCS, Google has decided to step in and will now roll out RCS-based chats for Android users in the UK and France, to begin with.
Google is expected to introduce the service to more places this year, however, there is no certainty that the service will be available globally by the end of this year.
Starting in a few weeks, the RCS chat will be available as an option in the Android Message app where it will allow users to choose whether or not they wish to opt for the new message service.
What Is RCS?
If you are wondering what RCS is, Rich Communication Services is an upgraded messaging, which includes various added features such as read receipts, the ability to send media, and more, pretty much like iMessage and even WhatsApp.
However, one thing that the RCS message system will lack will be end-to-end encryption, which Google will work on in the future.
Sanaz Ahari, Product Management Director for Android Messages, told The Verge, “We fundamentally believe that communication, especially messaging, is highly personal and users have a right to privacy for their communications. And we’re fully committed to finding a solution for our users.”
In addition to this, the RCS Chat will be a federated model, which means that no single person will be responsible for the messages sent.
While users will be able to use its web version by scanning the QR code, the ability to receive messages on multiple Android devices is not possible, given that it utilizes users’ phone number for setting up.
Furthermore, if a user switches to a device that doesn’t support RCS, it will be an easy transition from RCS to SMS.
Of course, Google taking responsibility for the RCS will further increase the dominance it has due to its Android market share and many of its apps and services. How it will affect others, still remains in question! What are your thoughts on the same? Comment below!