Do you ever feel sending SMS as an archaic thing to do? I mean it is just static text and the most basic types of emojis just sitting there. You can really interact with it much other than just send a reply. Well, with Google’s RCS – Rich Communication Services – SMS might soon be retired to join the likes of Telegram, Morse code, and the smoke signals our grandfathers in caves used.
Google began the journey of retiring SMS and in its place put RCS back in 2015, powered by its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. The first assault on SMS came by way of Google launching a new messaging app Android Messages, which currently supports both SMS and MMS.
The company went on a lobbying spree trying to woo mobile service carriers to adopt the new messaging platform, and hopefully – in the long run – do away with SMS and MMS support in favor or RCS. So far, Google is reported to have enlisted at least 43 carriers from across the globe who are currently supporting RCS messaging, albeit in beta program.
If you were wondering what is in it for Google, well, it is the commercial application. Business-to-consumer (B2C) messaging to be precise. And on that front, Google just recently announced it has managed to convince a couple of big multinational brands to try out its new messaging platform to reach out to their consumers.
Reportedly, multinational like DHL, Booking.com, Subway, SnapTravel, and Salud Movil among other brands have already joined the Google RCS Early Access Program. For the consumers, messages coming in through RCS will not be the usual annoying (useless) messages you get via SMS from brands. Most importantly they will not be static, and you can interact with them to as far as completing a purchase, placing a booking or reservation, without ever leaving the messaging app.
Thanks to Google’s aggressive campaign for RCS messaging, the service is now available in a number of mobile carrier networks in North America, Latin America, and Europe with a customer base of around 1.8 million worldwide.
Google is going a step further and lobbying for OEMs to ship their devices with the Android Messages app out of the box. So far, it is reported Google has roped in OEMs like TCL/Alcatel/Blackberry, Transsion, BLU, Positivo, Multilaser, Mobiwire, Azumi, Essential, Huawei, LG, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, HMD Global – Home of Nokia Phones, HTC, Kyocera, Lanix, Lava, Micromax, Motorola, MyPhone, QMobile, Sony Mobile, Symphony, Vodafone, Wiko, and ZTE. It goes without saying that Pixel and Android One devices are automatically in the program.