Google has changed its mind about adding new RCS APIs in Android Q.
Recently, several code changes popped up on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Gerrit — an online collaboration tool for developers to submit, review and merge code into Android — that suggested Google would add new RCS APIs in Android Q.
These APIs would allow third-party app developers to connect their messaging apps to the RCS system without having to build their own handling from the ground up.
However, Google dashed the hopes of developers and users alike with a new code change on the AOSP Gerrit. The change hides the recently introduced RCS APIs so developers can’t access them.
Worse, a message attached to the change notes that the feature was “punted from Android Q.”
It doesn’t get much clearer than that: anyone waiting on a third-party RCS messaging app won’t see the support needed until a later version of Android, likely Android R.
Unfortunately, this probably doesn’t bode well for RCS as a whole. Since its inception, Google has wrestled to get carriers on board. Further, the current RCS system is confusing for many people. The need to use the right apps and be on the right network puts several obstacles between users and RCS.
Hiding these APIs prevents developers from implementing RCS in their apps, further compounding the issue.