Tech & Science Android Chat And RCS Messaging: What Does It All Mean?
Facebook unites payment service across apps with Facebook Pay
Facebook unites payment service across apps with Facebook PayChief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year the company is planning to unify the messaging infrastructure across its platforms.
Google is finally rolling out its advanced text messaging feature, Chat, after being in the works for a few years. While it might sound like a reach, it has the potential to revolutionise the way we communicate via messaging. Let's explain why.
What is RCS messaging?
, and is an upgrade to the SMS, Short Message Service, we've all been stuck with since the late '90s. Despite apps like Facebook's Messenger, WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage being around for ages offering more features like GIF support, read receipts and simple group messaging the humble SMS has remained largely the same since it was first released. It's a bit basic, which is probably why many of us prefer to use messaging apps that require internet instead of data charges.
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November 15, 2019. Qantas chief executive Allan Joyce, alongside captain Helen Trenerry, speaks to reporters in Sydney after a direct Qantas flight from London to Sydney successfully touched down just under 19-and-a-half hours. The trial flight, part of Qantas's Project Sunrise, carried just 50 people, including crew. Mr Joyce says the company has been evaluating two aircrafts - the A350 and 777-8X - over the last few years as potential carriers for the route. "Now we're convinced that both aircraft can do the critical missions," he says. (AAP Video/Michael Wade)
RCS messaging, first formed in 2008, is essentially the features of these apps but inside your regular messaging app. Sort of how you've got Basic Text Editors and Rich Text Editors on the internet. RCS has been around for years but given carriers have yet to really adopt it, it's been sitting around collecting dust while ye ol' SMS does the brunt work. That's all about to change with Google's announcement.
And Google's Chat is an example of that?
The messaging apps of Android devices have long been Google's Achilles' Heel. Unlike Apple's iMessage, which is pretty well-loved by those who use it, Android users have less positive things to say about its messaging app given its limited capabilities. Google recognised this and has been working on improving it since 2018 and RCS messaging is its answer.
How To Check If You Have Access To Google's RCS Messaging
RCS messaging is here—thanks, Google—but there’s still a chance that you can’t flip the switch on it because, again, Google. Yes, it’s another feature rollout, which means you’ll be staring at your phone for some unknown amount of time, hoping it reveals to you the setting you can use to turn on something that sounds really awesome on paper. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, here’s the super-short version. Consider RCS messaging to be a super-improved version of SMS, the way you currently text your friends all day long.
Chat, as it's called,and is rolling out across the United States. It'll use your mobile data (internet), as opposed to network data (what you usually use for calls), and switch over to Wi-Fi usage when you're connected.
While there was no specific mention of Australia, I've been able to access its features with a Pixel 4 device using the Telstra network. It allows me to send images, GIFs, send my location, record a voice message, share a contact and attach a file.
While all sorts of Android devices will support it, not just Google's, it doesn't appear to be supported yet by Apple devices. Similar to iMessage, it's not likely messages sent between the devices will function well.
When are Australians getting it?
As always, our cousins across the Pacific will be getting the feature from today but some Australians might already have access. As mentioned, I tested it with a Pixel 4 using the Telstra network and it was already connected. It seems likely Google devices are already on board, given Google's the creator, and eventually other devices will be supported in the coming weeks and months.
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