WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned application worldwide, is used by more than 1.5 billion people a month to communicate with their loved ones because it is free to send messages and only requires the internet. But it looks like WhatsApp is about to face its biggest competitor as Google has made text messaging in Android phones almost as good as WhatsApp.
Google Messages is primarily part of the company's Rich Communications Service (RCS), which has been in operation since 2016 and will replace the SMS or Short Message service, which has been around for over 25 years. It will be able to use features such as Wi-Fi chat, high-resolution photo, and video sending and receiving, Red Receipt, typing indicators, group chats, and add or remove people in group chats.
After 2 years of efforts, Google has finally started giving access to this alternative to SMS to Android users around the world (excluding China and Russia). Now, instead of mobile companies, Google will provide direct RCS chat services through the Android Messages app, which just needs to be installed and used instead of the default text app. RCS was introduced by Google in the UK, France, and the US last year, and Google is now working to add end-to-end encryption.
Currently, this feature will be available to users using the beta version but will gradually become part of the default one-on-one chat, after which mobile carriers or Google will no longer be able to read the content of messages. Last year, Google's product managing director Sans Ahari said in an interview that we face technical complications with end-to-end encryption, as we also have to look at partners' legal and policy matters.
He quoted RCS as saying that the update should have come a long time ago, as users do not have access to the latest features in the SMS protocol in the Android system at the moment. He said that these are features that work in line with the requirements of the present age, it is an important step in the right direction.
After difficulties in partnering with mobile companies around the world, Google took the matter into its own hands last year and gradually began providing direct RCS services in various countries, waiting for local mobile companies to do so. Google has now announced that the process is complete and RCS services are now available to everyone worldwide via Android Messages.
In other words, it can be said that the era of SMS has finally come to an end after this step of Google and in the near future the messages sent under this service will also be out of reach of others which will be thanks to the end to end encryption. However, it is difficult to say how long the end-to-end encrypted messaging feature will be available to all users.
According to the company, if a user sends a message to someone who is not using Android messages, the service will work but advanced features or end-to-end encryption will not work. Remember that the world's first SMS was sent on December 3, 1992, in which 'Merry Christmas' was typed.
The SMS was sent by Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old employee of Seema Group, a UK telecom company, to Richard Davis, director of the company, which was busy at the Christmas party. SMS is a 160-character service that has been around for 28 years, but today's phones are more powerful and users demand more features, and that's what led to the success of WhatsApp and Messenger.