Tue. May 21st, 2024

November has been a giant month for RCS — the cell messaging protocol championed by Google — and now, the corporate is capping it off with the announcement of a milestone and a few festive new options. First, the quantity: in keeping with Google, over 1 billion month-to-month energetic customers are utilizing RCS in Google Messages. That’s enormous contemplating assist was scarce only a handful of years in the past, although not fully stunning because it’s been the default messaging service on Android telephones for a number of years now.

As for the brand new messaging options, a few them may sound acquainted to iOS customers. There’s a brand new function that ties into your Google account to create a Contact Poster-like profile together with your identify and photograph. Google is including one thing referred to as Photomoji, which helps you to lower folks out of your pictures and use the pictures to react to messages as you’ll with an emoji. Apple provides one thing comparable in iOS 17, although you need to flip your photograph cutouts into stickers so as to add them to iMessage conversations. Primarily based on an especially scientific examine of, like, 5 of my pals, this isn’t catching on in a short time.

Google Messages can even allow you to connect an emoji whenever you ship a voice message, which Google calls a “temper.” That’s a pleasant manner to assist somebody get the tenor of your message at a look. Emoji shared in group chats or used as reactions will typically embrace an animation, too. And in slightly nod to the entire inexperienced bubble / blue bubble state of affairs, Google Messages will now allow you to change the colour of the chat bubbles on every of your conversations.

Flip cat pictures into reactions, as the nice lord supposed. Picture: Google

I spoke to Android messaging VP and GM Sanaz Ahari in regards to the new options and the place RCS is mostly, which after all, means asking about Apple. There’s good motive to be enthusiastic about RCS on the iPhone as a result of — as Ahari aptly places it — “group chats are simply actually, actually damaged as we speak between Android and iOS.” Apple’s dedication to supporting the RCS common profile 2.0 implies that picture and video sharing throughout platforms will get significantly better, however Ahari acknowledges that the two.0 spec doesn’t embrace end-to-end encryption.

“We’re actively working with the GSMA — and Apple is a member of the GSMA — to evolve the spec to incorporate not solely end-to-end encryption, but in addition a variety of options that aren’t within the RCS spec that we’re engaged on including again to the spec.” Threaded replies, learn receipts, and reactions are a number of of these options which can be unlikely to be supported for iPhone customers as the usual exists as we speak. “General, what we hope is that the fashionable messaging options and end-to-end encryption shall be a actuality cross-platform.”

That’s all a methods off, however within the meantime, Google’s new messaging options shall be trickling out to RCS customers on Android telephones. At the moment’s function drop additionally contains some helpful good residence integrations with Put on OS so you possibly can set your Google Dwelling standing, set off a bunch of lights, or begin a routine out of your watch. All of it rolls out beginning as we speak, with the brand new messaging options debuting first in open beta.

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