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It’s been a very long time coming for Google and Android to get a decent messaging service to take on Apple iMessage on iOS and finally Google has done something about this.

Google have been trying to push rich communication services (RCS) to mobile networks so everyone can have a place for a unified messaging system, but in normal network carrier fashion, they love to hold on to as much revenue as possible (SMS & MMS) and not having the user’s experience as the forefront of their thoughts.

Google took back the responsibility of RCS and developed a messaging system that allows all Android users to send messages freely between each other by hosting the messaging servers themselves and now Google Messaging has some great new features that will be pushed out soon in the coming weeks that will rival Apple’s iMessage and Meta’s WhatsApp.

Image from Google
  • Android owners will soon be able to send video and picture messages without them being crunched down and losing valuable quality like we see in WhatsApp, it’s even more apparent when Android and iOS users share video between each other on WhatsApp.
  • There will also be a nudge feature that will come in handy to notify you to reply back to someone if you forget to do so with an alert at the top of the app with a quick reply system making it easier to respond back.
  • A welcoming addition allows your personal and business messages to be grouped separately allowing your messages to be filtered and more easily readable.
  • Google will allow you to combine two emojis together to make something unique to the sender making emojis that little bit more personal.
  • End to end encryption messaging.
  • Even though Google Messaging won’t work fully with iMessage, Android users will be able to send reactions to iOS users in forms of thumbs up, laughing reactions etc like you can on Skype & Discord, as of yet this feature is still not available on WhatsApp.
Image from Google

Of course, with any new app or technology, it doesn’t always matter how good something is, but more about how many people start adopting it. Most parts of Asia and Africa, Android is more widely used than iPhone, making Google Messaging a good default decision. But in Europe and North America where iPhone has the majority market share with Android in a close second, Apple would be foolish to adopt RCS and would potentially give up more market share to Android. And without this hurdle, WhatsApp (even with its lesser features) would be a tall order for Google to topple.

Google Messaging Update will be available for anyone that has enabled RCS messaging and who has Google Messages has the default provider for your messages on your phone. If you already have a Google Pixel, then this will already be default on your phone. If your messages app is something else it can be easily changed by going to the Settings app, hitting Apps and notifications >> Advanced >> Default apps >> SMS app. Then, select the Messages app as your default messaging app. Alternatively you can download the Google Messages app from the Google Play Store.

Once this is done and RCS isn’t yet setup, go to settings in the app by tapping the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner >> select settings >> tap chat features and finally enable chat features to turn on RCS messaging on. If your network service provider does not allow RCS then you will not be able to enable RCS (green status).

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