Rich Communications Services (RCS) protocol has a path to being ubiquitous in the US, after similar announcements from T-Mobile and AT&T earlier in the year, Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) said today that it is working with Google to bring the next generation. of redeeming SMS to all its customers.
By the end of the year, existing Verizon subscribers using the carrier’s Message+ app will have full access to the RCS suite, including real-time write pointers and read receipts.
Starting next year, all of the company’s phones will come with the Messages by Google app pre-installed. Once that happens, RCS perks like end-to-end encryption for individual conversations and the ability to send full-resolution images will be an app away.
Saying that this was a milestone announcement for Google would be as the company has been pushing RCS for years, and at times the project seemed destined to fizzle out like many of Google’s previous efforts in mobile messaging. Due to the need for a mobile subscription the protocol didn’t “just work” like iMessage at least not initially.
In the early years even if you did your best to download Google Messages, there was no guarantee that you would get any of its promised benefits. This is because oftentimes it is possible that the person you were messaging didn’t have an RCS compatible app installed on their phone, nor was they with a carrier on board the platform.