RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the supposed replacement for SMS texting but the problem with using the next-generation service has been nearly impossible due to complicated carrier and phone maker politics. But now, Google has changed its strategies regarding RCS. Now, instead of trying to convince carriers to roll out RCS support, Google will do it on its own. Google is taking the situation into their own hands. Android users in the UK and France will be able to opt-in to RCS Chat directly from Google. No more waiting for carriers to roll it out, Google will now directly be providing RCS to Android users in certain countries over the coming months.
The product management director overseeing Android Messages, Sanaz Ahari, assures that Google recognizes the need for private chat within RCS and is working on it. Here’s her full statement:
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.
Today’s announcement dives into the privacy angle of Google offering RCS directly to users since Google’s RCS will not be featuring end-to-end encryption, at least at first.
So what remains to be answered is exactly will you get with RCS Chat?
Simply put, it will make SMS’s feel more like a messaging app somewhat like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger since you will be able to see when others have read your messages, see when the other person is typic, send full-resolution images and videos, better group texting, and more.
Google is working on a solution to also provide end-to-end encryption and they say none of the messages are stored on their servers.