Skip to main content

More than 40 companies working on new generation of text messaging

rcs messaging
Digital Trends

More than forty carriers and phone manufacturers are working together to bring RCS messaging, the radical new version of text messaging, to people around the world, according to a blog post from Google.

RCS — Rich Communication Services — is a replacement for SMS text messaging, and it promises to offer features that the humble SMS text messaging service never could, including read receipts, group chats, and high-res imagery. Essentially, RCS aims to take your SMS messages and upgrade them to the level of the interactive and useful chat systems you’d find on apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat. SMS messaging has long been seen as out-of-date, having been introduced in the early nineties. Without a major update since that time, users have been stuck with such antiquated restrictions as MMS messaging, 160 character limits, and so on. RCS messaging would change that.

Google has been working on this for some time — default Android messaging app Android Messages had RCS support enabled last year, Google’s Jibe service was launched around the same time, and aims to bring RCS services to businesses, and last year the service announced that it was working with 27 carriers and manufacturers to introduce the next generation of text messaging. With yesterday’s blog post now highlighting 43 different carriers and manufacturers working with Google, it’s clear that there has been progress on this front.

Google’s big push for RCS at the moment seems to be business-oriented. The traditional example for RCS messaging was an airline boarding pass being sent via text message and being instantly scanned at the gate. Google seems keen to push that particular angle and is highlighting the ways that businesses can use RCS’s features to bring their products to customers, and even let them buy and process orders through a messaging app.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 is due to start in but a matter of days, so it’s clear why Google has chosen to make this announcement now. The blog post states that members of the RCS community will be showcasing RCS messaging for businesses at stands at MWC, and with Google’s annual I/O conference also around the calendar’s corner, it’s a safe bet to assume that we haven’t seen the last of Google’s push toward an RCS-future.

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
Sunbird — the sketchy iMessage for Android app — just shut down
Sunbird messages app for Android

What was supposed to be an iMessage redeemer for Android smartphone users has quickly been consumed in a chaos of security and utter negligence. Merely days after the Nothing Chats app was removed from the Play Store, the tech at its foundation provided by Sunbird is also taking an unspecified leave, intensifying suspicions of something being seriously wrong.

Sunbird appeared on our radar late last year, promising blue bubbles for Android-to-iPhone messages. It also promised to bundle all messaging apps into a single cluster, somewhat like Beeper. Nothing adopted the Sunbird tech, bundled it into its own app for the Nothing Phone 2, and launched it with an ambitious video. “Sorry, Tim.” That’s the message Nothing CEO Carl Pei sent.

Read more
Apple’s new Lightning to USB-C adapter costs more than just buying a USB-C cable
Apple Store listing for an Apple Lightning to USB-C adapter cable.

I don't think the iPhone 15's transition to USB-C is going to be all that painful. Yes, the Lightning plug has found its way to every corner of the world, and you're just as likely to find one to charge up your phone as you are any other cable when you're desperate for some juice, but we can't discount just how many USB-C chargers, cables, and accessories there are out in the world already. This is going to go just fine.

But you can always count on Apple to take advantage of switching standards with some hilariously priced -- and borderline pointless -- adapters to ease the transition for people who don't know any better but to click a few extra buttons and purchase official accessories when they're buying their latest device. Enter Apple's USB-C to Lightning adapter, which is conveniently already available on the Apple Store.

Read more
This rare iPhone just sold for more than a new car
Sealed, 2007 iPhone with a red "Lucky You" sticker on it.

The original iPhone is a hugely important part of mobile phone history, and anyone who has one still in its original packaging might just be sitting on a gold mine if they're willing to part ways with it as this recent seller did.

We've seen a handful of original iPhones selling for ridiculously high prices at auction over the last few months, and the most recent sale of a rare variant indicates that the trend is still going strong.

Read more