The latest hurdle to implementing Rich Communications Service (RCS) messaging – Verizon – has announced it will bring improved messaging support to Android users starting in 2022.
The RCS protocol will enable rich messaging features on Android similar to those seen in Apple’s iMessage. This 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 latest of the major carriers to officially announce support for Android RCS. T-Mobile started supporting the new standard in 2020, while AT&T announced the return 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. This will enable iMessage-like functionality, as well as more efficient business communications.
On the other hand, messages sent from Android device to iPhone, and vice versa, will still be based on the aging SMS standard. This means no end-to-end encryption and no rich chat features. IPhone and Android users will be able to enjoy improved messaging, but only in their own camps.
In addition to Messages by Google support, customers will also be able to use RCS on Verizon’s Messages + app by the end of 2021.
“Our customers rely on us to provide a reliable, advanced and easy-to-use messaging platform to stay in touch with the people who matter most in their lives. By working with Google, Verizon will provide our Android users with a solid messaging experience that will allow them to engage with loved ones, brands and businesses in new and innovative ways, ”said Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President and CEO by Verizon Consumer Group.
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