GSMA Announces Version 2 of the RCS Universal Profile Standard
A lot of those within the Android community have a love/hate relationship with how SMS is handled on Android devices. Granted, when we look at things globally, most of us have already moved onto a dedicated messaging application such as Whatsapp or Telegram. Still, SMS is highly used in parts of the world (such as the United States) but there are some companies who are trying to update the aging text messaging system. RCS is being adopted by many carriers as the successor to SMS, and the communication protocol is continuing to be standardized so more and more players in the industry adopt it in a consistent manner.
RCS is still in its early stages though and for it to be universal for all Android devices will require it to be adopted by all of the carriers. There are a few carriers who currently support it (such as Sprint, Rogers and Telenor), and others have said they will add support for it in the future, but all of this will take time. Google is doing what they can to reduce the investment cost of implementing RCS for carrier’s network though.
Support for RCS will also need to be added to the SMS application that you’re currently using. Google did this for its Messenger application back in November of last year, and Samsung has said they will add support for it as well, but this is something else that is slowing the adoption rate of the platform. In any case, we’re still seeing the universal profile for RCS growing and maturing right in front of our eyes even it isn’t fully fleshed out yet.
A big issue here is that an API for 3rd-party developers still hasn’t been made available to the public. An updated version of the RCS Universal Profile Standard, however, states that there are plans for an API for RCS, but things are changing in ways that they are not yet comfortable with making them available.
Source: GSMA [PDF]