Android Messages Gets Huge Feature Boost

Android Messages Gets Huge Feature Boost
Android Messages will be almost on a par with Apple's iMessages.

(CCM) — The Messages app used by millions of Android users around the world is about to get a massive shot in the arm with the introduction of new technology called Rich Communication Services (RCS), Phone Arena is reporting.

RCS is a upgrade to the short message service (SMS) currently used by Android phones, which allows users to send messages longer than the current SMS limit of 160 characters. But it goes much further than this, allowing users to communicate using video and voice calls, exchange photos, create groups, get "read receipt" notifications which show when a message that has been sent has been viewed by the recipient, and even see when the other person is typing a messaging during a chat session.

These features have long been part of Apple's iMessage service in its Messages app in iOS, as well as third party apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram. So in a sense Android Messages is simply playing catch-up.

But RCS lacks one vital feature that apps like WhatApp and Telegram offer: end-to-end encryption of messages. However, Google is working on this problem and hopes to be able to add it in to the Android Messages app in the future, according to the report.

RCS will be available for Android users to opt into in the Messages app in place of SMS starting later this month in the U.K. and France. Later in the year it will be offered in more countries when Google starts to roll it out more globally.

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