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iMessage-Like Chatting Feature Is Coming Soon To Android & Here's Everything To Know

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Which instant messaging app or service do you actively use? Your answer will definitely include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Hike, or Skype. Now, can you send a message from WhatsApp to a contact on Hike? No, you can't. These apps have their own protocols for data transfer and services work inside their own bubble only. 

RCS (Rich Communications Services) is a new protocol that is meant to replace SMS (Short Message Service). With SMS, you can send a text or compressed image to anyone via a mobile number. SMS is a standard protocol and hence supported by every other phone or OS. You can send SMS from an iPhone to an Android phone. Unlike third-party apps, these protocols are universal and hence easily usable. 

Everything You Need To Know About RCS© Google

SMS is an age-old standard and supports just 160 characters in each transfer. While everyone has shifted to third-party IMs, SMS is still very important because of its reliability. It doesn't require a separate internet connection and is dependent completely on the carrier or telecom operator. 

This reliability gives a very crucial edge to SMS. Now, RCS will soon be the de facto protocol for messages. Google is a primary backer of RCS and major telecom operators around the world are working on supporting it. Google is rolling out the new features afforded by RCS as "chat" and it's part of the existing Android Messages app - alongside SMS and MMS.

Everything You Need To Know About RCS© Google

RCS is very similar to Apple's iMessage service. It's a more interactive protocol that allows you to start group chats, send video and audio messages, and send high-resolution images. You'll also be able to receive read receipts and even see when someone is replying to your message in real time.

If a user on the other end does not support RCS, text messages are sent in as SMS. The same practice is also seen on iMessage, if the two users have an Apple device, the chat happens over iMessage, else via SMS. Instead of using a cellular connection, Chat will rely on your data connection. 

Everything You Need To Know About RCS© GSMA

Though, RCS service doesn't support end-to-end encryption, meaning messages exchanged through this new protocol are less secure than those sent and received via competitors like iMessage and Signal.

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