You read that right. Android has iMessage, well, sort of, almost.
Google has been known, time and again, to have been trying, upon so many attempts, to make messaging happen. All the way from Google Hangouts, Allo, Chat, Google +, Groups, Hangouts, Messenger, Project Fi, and Voice.
While many have been discontinued and are going to be discontinued soon, Google has been hard at work in an attempt to “streamline” messaging services to smaller, more focused platforms.
After all that’s been said and done, Google still has that one caveat that iPhone users have been enjoying for quite some time now, iMessage.
Fortunately, Google has been hard at work and has been actively rolling-out RCS (rich communication services) platform. Think of it as iMessage on Android.
One such application found on many Android phones, is Google Messages, or, simply, Messages. Not to be confused with the third party “messages” application other smartphone manufacturers place within (much like Samsung, LG, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo among others.)
What is RCS?
Put it simply it allows you to be able to send and receive messages over mobile data or WiFi. On top of that, links actually show previews, send and receive images, read receipts, receipt indicators, typing indicators, videos, voice notes, stickers, GIFs, the list goes on, actually.
Why you haven’t heard of this or why it’s not yet widely popular is because Google initially wanted local service providers to offer the and integrate the service themselves to overcome security concerns.
Since many didn’t even bother converting or offering the service, Google threw all those plans out the window and integrated RCS natively via the app. The roll-out was slow, to say the least, with only certain countries being able to maximize the service. Fortunately for you 2020 is the year RCS is available globally.
Coming 2021 are security features such as end-to-end encryption.
If you noticed some businesses being able to send you rich messages with links, images, and sometimes options to interact within Google Messages is that this has been enabled with the support of Google. Much the same experience happens when talking to friends and family over Messages.
How do I get RCS or Google Chat?
Simple, just download the Google Messages app, if you don’t already have it. A prompt will notify you about Chat.
Your “username” will be your phone number.You will know a person is on Chat when the space for inputting messages indicates “chat” instead of “sms” and that the color of the message changes from light blue to dark blue.
The most recent addition to RCS or Google Chat is reactions. Google has announced more features to come soon and we all just can’t wait for a proper iMessage competitor
What we hope to come out are Allo features like the increase or decrease sent font size options and creative ways to send messages like bubble, popping, or confetti.
But wait, there’s more!
Google Messages even has a web browser option so you don’t even have to leave your desktop to answer messages on your phone. This access allows for both SMS replies and Google Chat features.
Will Apple support Google Chat or RCS?
Unfortunately Apple will be Apple and won’t be supporting RCS on iOS because, well, they’re Apple
We’ll have to rely on Facebook Messenger, Viber, Whatsapp, Line, or WeChat for cross-platform messaging. Because, you know, SMS is sooooo 1999.
Are you already enjoying Google Chat? What’s your experience like?