Google is taking over RCS, rolling out feature in U.K. and France

Android Messages app

While Google initially started rolling out RCS a few years ago, getting it to everyone has been complicated due to carrier intervention.

Now, however, Google is officially rolling out the service in France and the U.K., allowing users to opt-in to the service instead of having to wait for carrier support.

Currently, in Canada and the U.S., RCS depends on whether the carrier permits it and even then there are issues. One of the carrier non-dependent issues with RCS is that it lacks end-to-end encryption.

This is a benefit that users get with iMessage and WhatsApp; even Facebook says it’s looking to add encryption.

According to The Verge who interviewed the product management director of Android Messages, Sanaz Ahari, Google is working on it.

“We fundamentally believe that communication, especially messaging, is highly personal, and users have a right to privacy for their communications. And we’re fully committed to finding a solution for our users,” Ahari said to The Verge. 

RCS stands for Rich Communication Service, it allows for group messaging, being able to see if the person you’re speaking to is currently typing or if they’ve read your last message. And similar to WhatsApp, it uses data or the closest Wi-Fi connection.

In Canada, customers at Bell, Rogers and Freedom Mobile have access to RCS with the Android Messages app. However, most users are stuck with the standard SMS.

With Google taking over, users in France and the U.K will receive a prompt when first opening the Android Messages app to upgrade to RCS.

This will work with other devices that support the RCS Universal Profile, and it doesn’t matter whether Google or the carrier offers the service, according to The Verge.

Google will roll out this feature to more countries later this year. However, the company has yet to announce specific countries.

When it does come to Canada, the functionality should roll out to all users at the same time and should be far more accessible than RCS in its current state.

Source: The Verge

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