Google Banks on Chat as WhatsApp Killer

Google Banks on Chat as WhatsApp Killer
Integrating Chat into Android Messages will allow users to send photos and videos using data.

(CCM) — Google has abandoned its Allo messaging app and is now focused on building "Chat" into the Android Messages app, according to an International Business Times report.

Chat is Google's name for Rich Communication Services (RCS), a messaging standard. When Android users with Chat-enabled Messages communicate with each other, they will be able to exchange text-based messages, including group texts, as well as photos and videos, using their device's data connection. If one party does not have Chat enabled on their device then text-based messages will be sent as simple SMS messages, and photos and videos sent as MMS messages, in the same way that Apple's iMessage works.

Google hopes that the ability to carry out all these messaging functions from the Messages app will reduce the need for Android users to make use of third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But since Apple is unlikely to adopt Chat, Android users will still have to use these cross-platform apps to communicate with friends who have iPhones.

To date 55 carriers, 11 Android device manufacturers, and two operating system providers (Google and Microsoft) have signed up to support Chat, according to the report. No specific launch date has been announced but Google plans to introduce it within the next 18 months, the report says.

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