Challenging Apple and its iMessages, Google and Samsung are expanding their joint efforts to streamline messaging across Android-powered devices.
Specifically, the pair have agreed to bring Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging to more Android phones.
Long supported by Google, the RCS standard allows for features like chatting over WiFi, creating group chats and sharing high-resolution photos and videos between platforms.
To date, Samsung has allowed RCS on select devices. Now, in addition to adding the standard to more phones, new Samsung Galaxy devices will natively support RCS messaging.
That concession on Samsung’s part represents a big win for Google, which has been trying to offer simpler messaging service across the device landscape.
“We’ve been working with the mobile industry to upgrade the messaging experience on Android with RCS,” according to Anil Sabharwal, vice president, communications products and photos, Google. “Samsung has been a major contributor to this initiative.”
“Our partnership will further advance our shared vision of a substantially improved messaging experience on Android for users,” Sabharwal promised.
Complimenting Samsung’s vote of confidence, recent research suggests that RCS has a bright future.
By combining the high level of reach of SMS messaging and the rich functionality of OTT applications, Juniper Research recently said it anticipated that operators will begin roll outs of RCS services.
More broadly, Juniper said it expected the volume of A2P (Application to Person) messaging to increase by 20% over the next five years to more than 2.7 trillion by 2022, up from 2.1 trillion this year.
Per the expanded pact, developers and brands that create RCS business messaging experiences using the Google or Samsung Messaging-as-a-Platform (MaaP) services will be able to reach users from both platforms.