How something called RCS could change the way you text forever.
Android phones do many things well, but when it comes to texting, the iPhone has Google beat. Apple’s iMessage app supports group messaging and read receipts, and has that addictive blue bubble that automatically texts other iPhone users over Wi-Fi, not just your cellular data connection. The fact that Android phone makers use different messaging apps by default keeps the act of texting from becoming as indispensable as iMessage is to iPhone users.
Google wants to change all that, and is working with US carriers to make text messaging more powerful, more consistent across Android phones and more fun to use. It will take work, though, namely getting carriers to adopt a messaging protocol called RCS.
Here’s a look at what RCS is and does, what it’ll give you and when you might be able to start using it on your Android phone.
What does RCS mean?
RCS is a type of messaging protocol that stands for Rich Communication Services. When it’s widely available, it will replace SMS, the text messaging standard that’s been used since the 1990’s.
SMS messaging has evolved some over the years, expanding past the original 160 character limit and adding MMS (multimedia messaging) for sending pictures and videos. However, SMS is starting to show its age and limitations. RCS would allow texting on Android to be as flexible and powerful as text message platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat, for example.