Google’s new RCS feature on 'Message' will replace text messages
RCS is a feature that Google is planning to bring on its messaging app 'Message'. It will make it work similar to iMessages but with a different mechanism.
Most of us use more than one app to communicate with friends and family. First, the default Message app, that relies on our network/service providers to send SMS texts. Second, WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, Hike or any other internet based chat app. The former – and older - messaging platform is rarely used now, as most of us rely on online chat apps.
But what if you can use the old Message app for chatting? Google is planning just that. It’s bringing a new feature to its Message app that will make it function like a chat app. But, doesn't it sound familiar to iMessage on Apple devices? Sure, there will be similarities, but the functionality is inherently different.
The new feature will be called as RCS. RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. Officially it is expected to be called, quite simply, 'Chat'. This service will be directly provided by Google instead of relying on carriers that support it.
Once you enable the feature in the app, you will be able to use various new features. Users will be able to receive and send high-quality attachments, read receipts and see typing indicators.
The facility to send text messages is generally taken care of by service providers. And they charge money for each text message that we send. Further, it becomes difficult to share multimedia stories and videos via text messaging apps.
According to The Verge, where the news about this innovation first broke, UK and France will be the first countries to bring the new feature. But, Google plans to expand the feature to other countries, throughout the year.
That being said, there’s always a downside. One of the biggest downsides of this feature is lack of encryption. Since, the feature works with the help of carriers, it is difficult to encrypt the content it carries. That means, service providers will have access to your messages. And if the government asks, they might have to provide your personal messages to the State.
Google has a plan to solve this problem. It will delete the messages from its servers once it gets delivered to the users. This will remove messages from the server, and allow greater security.
The feature will come as a default on new phones. Old users will get a prompt to upgrade the app with the new feature. If you don’t want to upgrade, you will continue to get text messages as normal.