From 2022, Verizon will start preloading Google Messages as the default SMS and RCS messaging app on all Android phones sold by the US carrier.
Announced today, Verizon will join AT&T and T-Mobile in adopting RCS for interoperability between all major US carriers. This now means that the three largest US mobile operators will soon use the Universal Profile and ensure that all video, image and text content is consistent and hassle-free when using an Android device on the networks.
Messages from Google will be loaded from next year on all Verizon Android devices, so consumers can enjoy full messaging features, such as sending and receiving higher quality photos and videos, chatting via Wi-Fi or data, and knowing when your message is read, enjoy more dynamic and engaging group chats, and securely chat with other Messages users in available one-on-one end-to-end encryption conversations.
RCS messaging provides end-to-end encrypted chats, the ability to send larger video and media files, with other features such as message responses and write indicators. Verizon was originally the last holdout with its own implementation of RCS messaging via a standalone app ̵
Through this partnership, Messages will partner with Verizon’s network and RCS messaging service to provide a seamless experience for Android users. In addition, Google will partner with Verizon to provide a robust business messaging ecosystem to consumers using RCS.
Talking to The Verge, Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome OS and Play Store Hiroshi Lockheimer demonstrates the “safer” nature of RCS when using Google Messages as the “default messaging experience.” However, this leaves a final holdout in the equation for the broad adoption of the RCS protocol – Apple. While iMessage undoubtedly dominates, it is unclear how long longer the Cupertino company can continue to favor the less secure SMS for message recurrence if RCS is not available.
While this is good news for RCS and Android owners everywhere, Verizon will not make Google Messaging the default messaging app until 2022. Until then, the janky third-party implementation seems to cause no confusion for those on the “Big Red” network.
Verizon also confirmed that customers who are currently or still using the Verizon Message + app will also have full access to RCS features with Google Messaging by the end of the year, including built-in high-resolution photos and videos, real-time call alerts, animated GIFs, and more .
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