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Verizon Just Helped Make Android Text Messaging Better Than Ever—Except with iPhone Users

Back of the Google Android phone on a brick wall.
Justin Duino / Review Geek

Verizon will begin pre-installing and using Google’s Android Messages app on all Android devices starting next year. This follows similar announcements by T-Mobile and AT&T, which will drastically help make Android text messaging better than ever.

This is an important step for delivering an improved texting experience, known as RCS chat, to all Android devices. Google Messages uses RCS and works across different carriers to offer the same video, image, and text experience similar to Apple’s iMessage.

Google has tried to accomplish this for a long time, as RCS has no character limits, has typing and read indicators, reactions, starred messages, works over Wi-Fi, can send larger files, supports better group chats, and offers end-to-end encryption for personal conversations.

Google Messages features

When Google Messages detects that you’re texting with another phone that supports RCS, which will be the default on all Android phones sold by the big three U.S. carriers starting in 2022, your text entry window will say that you are sending a “Chat” and deliver more features—except with iPhone owners. iPhones use Apple’s iMessage, which doesn’t support RCS.

In a comment to The Verge, Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome OS, and the Play Store Hiroshi Lockheimer talked about the “more secure” nature of RCS when Google Messages is used as the “default messaging experience.” Without going into details, he briefly suggests that there’s one major holdout in making messaging safe, secure, and great for everyone, and that’s Apple.

Anyone using Google Messages and RCS features that text an iPhone won’t get this same great experience. Instead, the system will fall back to the standard and less secure SMS protocol. Essentially, this leaves the ball in Apple’s court to start integrating RCS technology into iMessage or offer its messaging app for Android devices.

Google has invited Apple to adopt RCS on several occasions, so we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, this is excellent news for RCS and Android owners in the United States and around the globe. Additionally, Verizon’s Message+ app will also get full access to RCS capabilities by the end of the year for those that don’t want to change apps. You can get ahead of the curve, though, and start using Google Messages today from the link below.

Get it on Google Play

via The Verge

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »