More than 40 companies working on new generation of text messaging

rcs messaging

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 SMS messaging has long been seen as out-of-date, having been introduced in the early nineties.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.


OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Social Media

Twitter keeps your direct messages, even years after you delete them

Twitter is keeping copies of direct messages sent through the social network even years after users delete them, according to security researcher Karan Saini who discovered an archive containing old DMs from deleted and suspended accounts.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.

You can now get Google Fi SIM cards straight from Best Buy

Google's wireless service known as Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi. The company also announced the service is now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about…

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.

The best Honor View 20 cases to keep your midrange beauty intact

With power to rival flagships, great looks, and a stunning camera, the Honor View 20 is an excellent phone -- but it still needs protection from hazards. Here are some of the best Honor View 20 cases.

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.