Verizon bringing RCS-based Google Messages to Android users in 2022

in General Discussion
The last holdout to implement Rich Communications Service (RCS) messages -- Verizon -- has announced that it's bringing enhanced messaging support to Android users starting in 2022.

Credit: Verizon
Credit: Verizon

The RCS protocol will allow for rich messaging features on Android akin to the kind seen in Apple's iMessage. That includes chatting over Wi-Fi, end-to-end encryption, dynamic group chats, and read receipts -- all provided through the Messages by Google app.

Verizon is the last of the major carriers to officially announce Android RCS support. T-Mobile began supporting the new standard in 2020, while AT&T announced the switch back in June 2021.

The carrier said that, starting in 2022, all Android devices sold on Verizon's network will come with the Messages by Google app preloaded. That will allow for the iMessage-like features, as well as more effective business communications.

On the other hand, messages sent from an Android device to an iPhone, and vice versa, will still be based on the aging SMS standard. That means no end-to-end encryption and no rich chat features. Both iPhone and Android users will be able to take advantage of enhanced messaging, but only within their own camps.

In addition to the Messages by Google support, customers will also be able to use RCS on Verizon's Messages+ app by the end of 2021.

"Our customers depend on us to provide a reliable, advanced and simple messaging platform to stay in touch with the people that matter the most in their lives. By working with Google, Verizon will offer our Android users a robust messaging experience that allows them to engage with loved ones, brands and businesses in new and innovative ways," said Ronan Dunne, Verizon Consumer Group's executive vice president and CEO.

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  • Reply 1 of 3
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,072member
    Wish this could be used to help correct the poor user experiences with group MMS messages of mixed platforms.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    "Going forward, the default messaging experience on Android is going to be more secure. The fallback messaging experience on the other platform will not have encryption if it’s still SMS. I think that that is a pretty interesting dynamic and I would hope that as everyone focuses on security and privacy it becomes an important part of the discussion."
  • Reply 3 of 3
    DangDaveDangDave Posts: 95member
    Below is a link to AT&T’s rollout of RCS as announced in June. This has some good information on carrier supported RCS.

    The bottom line is that all three major carriers are headed in the right direction. First they need to get it working seamlessly within their own networks, and eventually be able to work across networks. The two main hurdles will be keeping the chats/messages encrypted and persistent across multiple carriers. 

    The biggest item missing is the ability to share your chat/message with other devices. 

    I will stick with WhatsApp for my cross platform chats for now. 
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