Huawei will Integrate Android Messages with RCS Messaging on All Their Smartphones
In many regions around the world, the popularity of SMS and MMS is declining. That’s because they can’t match the flexibility of Internet-based over-the-top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram. In countries like India, SMS has been largely replaced by WhatsApp.
SMS has its place — it’s still the default texting tool in the US and other countries. But with respect to features such as rich media sharing and typing indicators, it has fallen behind. In November 2016, Google integrated RCS (Rich Communications Services) — the successor to SMS — with Android Messages. Although carrier support for RCS is still limited, it experienced a slight uptick in 2017. Now, adoption’s likely to accelerate thanks to Huawei’s decision to support Android Messages, powered by RCS, on its Android smartphones.
Huawei will begin shipping the Android Messages app across product portfolio in the coming months, the company announced Thursday. With Android Messages and RCS messaging, Huawei devices will offer a richer native messaging and communications experience, with access to features such as texting over Wi-Fi, rich media sharing, and group chats on supported carriers. Messages from the business will also see an upgrade thanks to RCS, and Huawei users will be able to make video calls directly from Android Messages via ViLTE and the Google Duo app.
Google says it’s collaborating with Huawei to extend its Jibe RCS cloud and hub solution to current and prospective partners as part of an integrated solution with Huawei’s infrastructure, which will make it easier for carriers to roll out RCS messaging to subscribers.
Jibe is Google’s RCS platform, and it’s seen relatively slow carrier adoption so far. If Huawei’s decision to embrace Google’s platform has the desired effect, though, it’ll increase support for the fledgling standard.