Google to upgrade Android Messages into ‘Chat’ using RCS and taking a break from Allo

A year ago, Google announced to bring 20+ OEMs as the RCS client preloaded on Android Messages. Moreover, now Google has finalized its RCS partnership with carriers and OEMs and will be known as “Chat.”

As first reported by The Verge, Google is planning to launch the RCS initiative shortly (maybe at I/O 2018) and will call it Chat. It is also reported to work through the Android Messages initially.

Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Messages Screenshot
  • Messages Screenshot

Now, to make it clear, Chat is a carrier-based service and will use the Android Messages on Android phones. So, Google’s main involvement with this RCS service will be to get its compatible app on maximum Android devices. With this, Google will get the carrier companies onto this single standard, where Chat is a consumer-friendly name for RCS.

Google Chat’s Working

The way it works is no different than a regular text message. First, you open the Android Messages App on your Android Phone and merely text a message as you would. Now, your carrier will send that text message to the recipient’s carrier. So, if the recipient is a Chat user, the RCS message will be sent along. However, if they are not, the text will be delivered in a regular SMS form.

Likely with this change, Chat messages with use the user’s data plan and not their carrier SMS plan, just like WhatsApp works. A chat message should not affect anyone, as an RCS message will hardly be more than a couple of bytes. However, carriers could change the billing plans of the chat messages.

The primary purpose of moving away from text messages (SMS) and opting for RCS-based service like Chat is to provide users a better and productive messaging experience when messaging to friends and family.

Google Chat’s Features

Just like the most used and favorite app, WhatsApp, Chat will also support typing indicators, read receipts, group texts, and full resolution pictures and video. With this rebranding of Google’s Android Messages will compete with platforms like iMessage directly through the app.

However, the only way Chat is different from the Apple’s iMessage is that that data on Chat is not encrypted. (you can check the following video)

Google Chat Availability and Support

By far, over 55 different worldwide carriers have agreed to use the standard, and same goes for the 11 different mobile manufacturers. However, at present only 2 Google’s and Microsoft’s operating system will support Chat, so the Android users will still have to send a regular SMS to the iOS users. Moreover, it is still unclear when will Apple support RCS or will not.

On the talks over Chat, Vice President of Product at Google, Anil Sabharwal, told The Verge that the company is “taking a break” from the development of Allo as “The Product as a whole has not achieved the level of traction that we had hoped for.” As now it is a great time to switch to another messaging service, Chat, whereas Google will continue supporting the Allo app.

Furthermore, as the Chat comes out to the masses later, Google is busy preparing a web interface for its messaging service so users can continue conversations right from their PCs. A “Messages for Web” will also be available along the Chat service by Google. As you can see the above image, the interface looks quite similar to Allo for Web which depicts that you will need to authenticate yourself using a scanned QR code.

So are you up to switch to a new way of messaging and to a new app, “Chat by Google”? Do tell us in the comment section below.

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