Since it started the campaign to embrace Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android back in 2015, Google has today made another major milestone by announcing a partnership with Samsung to ensure that Android Messages and Samsung Messages play nicely with each other.
This is a major milestone for the search giant considering the kind of market Samsung controls in the smartphone market, where all of its devices come preinstalled with the Korean company’s own messaging app. With RCS, Google wants SMS users to enjoy features similar to what you’ll find on the likes of WhatsApp and co., among them read receipts, group chats and texting over Wi-Fi, making voice calls over the internet, file-sharing and so on.
Apparently, the first beneficiaries of this collaboration will be the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, but the tech giants are in agreement that more units will join the party sooner or later, including the latest Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 handsets, Galaxy S8 Active, Galaxy Note 8 as well as select Galaxy A and J series phones. Even more interesting is that future Samsung Galaxy phones will come with this capability baked in the device, beginning with those running Android 9 Pie out of the box.
For RCS to work effectively, various smartphone hardware and software makers need to be on board. So far, Google has done a great job making partnerships with carriers and even the third biggest smartphone vendor, Huawei, came aboard this ship at the beginning of this year. Now that Samsung has caved in, the only other big player that remains is Apple, which Google will be hoping that Tim Cook and co. won’t be a problem.