File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
The chat feature was tested in the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico earlier this year
Google has announced the commencement of Rich Communication Services (RCS) on the Android operating software to replace the traditional Short Messaging Service (SMS) by introducing more chat features.
In a statement on Thursday, Google said, "To make your conversations more seamless, we`ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services)".
RCS will improve the messaging experience on Android tremendously. Alongside traditional chatting features that include seamless texting over Wi-Fi or mobile data, sending and receiving high-resolution photos and videos, seeing if people have received your messages, one will have access to a better chatting ecosystem that will be group-chat centric.
"Plus, you`ll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven`t seen the latest messages," informed Google.
The chat feature was tested in the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico earlier this year.
The rolling out process has already kicked in the United States, with wider coverage planned for later.
"If you already have Messages, you`ll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don`t have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the US by the end of the year," said the company.
The RCS as being pitched as the ''SMS killer'', for it will enable the transfer of in-call multimedia and set the foundation for a more immersive and simple messaging interface. Just like Apple's iMessage, RCS is a communication protocol between the phone and the carrier.
To enable the feature once it begins rolling out, the user will need to click on a notification that says ''do more with messages'' following which they will be able to ''enable chat features''.
Additionally, Google reaffirmed its commitment to working with stakeholders including carriers and device makers to allow a more seamless chatting experience across Android devices.