Android users worldwide are signing up for the Blue Bubble Club. This means that RCS (Rich Communication Services) is distributed globally so that those using an Android-powered handset can join those in the US who received the update last year. RCS replaces the older Android Messages app and uses a Wi-Fi or data connection instead of voice. This means that messages that contain photos or video look much better and that much larger messages can be sent and received.
Google seeks to match Apple’s iMessages features, especially end-to-end encryption
Some other features that are part of RCS include read receipts that alert you when a message you have sent has been read, and you also know when the person you are chatting with writes a reply to a message, you just sent. RCS does not work with iOS or even with Android phones that use a bearer or third-party messaging apps. You can tell if the person at the other end of your conversation is using the new brass platform according to the color of the text bubble on the screen. If both parties use RCS, this bubble will be blue, similar to how iPhone users know if the person they are texting is using an iOS or Android device.
In a blog post published late last week, Google said: “As smartphones become more advanced, our communication apps must also evolve to meet our changing needs. In the last few years, we have been working with the mobile industry and device manufacturers on more network operators in certain countries to provide messaging features in Messaging based on the open Rich Communications Services (RCS) standard.Chat features upgrade text messaging so you can send and receive better quality photos and videos, chat over Wi-Fi or data , know when to read your message, share responses and enjoy more dynamic and engaging group chats.Today, we’ve completed our global rollout of chat features to make this modern messaging experience universal and interconnected for everyone on Android.Now everyone uses messages around in the world1 has access to modern chat features either from their operator or directly from Google. ”
One of these features is end-to-end encryption. With the latter none, not even Google or any third party may read the content you send via RCS from your phone to the phone of the person you are sending messages to. First, end-to-end encryption will be pushed out to beta testers from this month and continue into next year. Qualified calls are automatically upgraded to end-to-end encryption, but only if the person at the other end of the message has Messages installed and chat features enabled.