Samsung doubles down on RCS, brings next-gen messaging to Marshmallow devices

Samsung Galaxy s7 Active
Jessica Star Lee/Digital Trends
Add Samsung to the list of mobile technology companies embracing RCS in a big way. The South Korean firm laid out its plans for its adoption of the new messaging format on Tuesday, saying it will leverage its acquisition of NewNet Communications Technologies to deliver a service compliant with the latest GSMA global standards on devices running at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is the successor to SMS and MMS, and as such brings a number of improvements found in modern instant messaging services, like group chat, video calling, location sharing, large file transfers, and high-quality images. Last week, Google announced its plan to fully integrate RCS into its Messenger app, which it has renamed Android Messages.

One of the major roadblocks to widespread adoption at this time is carrier support. RCS must be activated by the network operator, and while many carriers have implemented the technology in some fashion within their own bespoke messaging services, they haven’t adhered to the universal standard. Samsung and Google have each announced they are working closely with carriers around the globe to advance availability, with Samsung in particular saying it has already partnered with Deutsche Telekom, KT, SK Telecom, T-Mobile, and Vodafone.

Samsung is counting on its cloud-based RCS servers and interconnectivity hub to make the switch as painless as possible for service providers. The company says the cloud “will allow mobile network operators to quickly launch the service and avoid the costly and time-consuming efforts of building their own network infrastructure.” The hub will ideally support and simplify compatibility between carriers, helping to make RCS as ubiquitous as its predecessors.

Additionally, Samsung has recognized that each carrier has its own specific, unique needs. To this end, the company plans to offer its RCS solution as a complete package, or piecemeal through modular options, so networks can integrate RCS however they wish while ensuring that the implementation stays consistent with the global standard.

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.
Mobile

Verizon wants you to lobby the government for 5G deployment

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Mobile

AT&T adds Minneapolis and Chicago to its mobile 5G road map for 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

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…
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Mobile

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.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

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.
Mobile

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.