Google and Samsung work together to release next-gen messaging service for Android

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-09-14 12:17 Updated : 2018-09-14 12:17
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[Courtesy of Samsung]

SEOUL -- Google and Samsung Electronics will work together to release an enhanced next-generation messaging service for Android-based smartphones that allows users to chat in real-time over wifi and send large data files such as high-definition images and videos.

The alliance will accelerate the global application of rich communication service (RCS), enabling an enhanced messaging experience across the entire Android ecosystem, Samsung said in a statement on Friday.

RCS is a communication protocol aimed at replacing short messaging service (SMS) with large file transferring ability. In 2016, GSM Association (GSMA), a trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, published the Universal Profile, a single specification for advanced communications.

SMS, a feature added to mobile phones in the early 1980s, limits the length of messages to 128 bytes so that they can fit into the existing formats. Many telecom companies and mobile carriers support multimedia messaging service (MMS) which can deliver a variety of data including up to 40 seconds of a low-quality video file at a time.

In the smartphone era, people use messaging apps to communicate with others. SMS is still widely favored by many because the service does not consume data. Businesses use SMS to send information such as real-time credit card transaction records and reservation alarms.

Samsung and Google have provided native messaging services, but they were not linked. A native service, or a native app, is built into a platform or an operating system (OS). The two companies will collaborate to ensure the native messaging services to work seamlessly using RCS technology, including cloud and business messaging platforms.

"This collaboration will help further the industry’s momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage," a Samsung official was quoted as saying.

About 2.1 billion people worldwide use Android smartphones and will benefit from the joint initiative by Samsung and Google. Users of popular smartphone messenger apps could shift to the OS-based native apps, a phenomenon commonly witnessed when a native app is upgraded to feature the service of apps developed by third-party companies.

Apple, which has about 367 million iPhone users worldwide, started its RCS-like iMessage service in 2011, connecting Apple devices to provide real-time chat, the transfer of large files and multimedia sharing.