As you can see from the image above, Samsung's home-grown messaging service, ChatON, is available pretty much anywhere. Which is great for the vast majority of users and the fact that it even works with Feature Phones is a pretty big thing for developing nations. However, there's one standard that these apps often forget about and that's SMS. While the aging messaging standard doesn't look like it has much steam left, it's still the most widely used. After all, everyone can receive an SMS message but, not a lot of users have even heard of ChatON or Hangouts at this point.
In Samsung's bizarre bid to replace all of Google's own offerings on their devices, ChatON now supports SMS and MMS messaging. Falling in line with both Hangouts and iMessage. However, as SamMobile points out, Samsung's implementation of SMS might be confusing for users at first. Putting both SMS and IMs in the same conversation is hardly intuitive, after all it might be the same conversation but, it's not as clean as the implementation in Hangouts.
No matter what though, this shows once more that Samsung is more than happy to completely replace Google services on their devices. Something we'll never quite understand. Nevertheless, it is nice to see Samsung updating their cross-platform messaging service with new features like this, after all the instant messaging market is moving pretty quickly. Sure, it's dominated right now by WhatsApp but, with BBM floundering there's a chair free at the top and we've no doubt Samsung would like to take a seat.
It's become an interesting question, with so many of these instant messaging apps around, is SMS the only feature to take them mainstream? Is it going to take a standard that's over a decade old to get average people to pick up these instant messaging apps? On a personal note, I only use Hangouts to chat with work colleagues as everyone else in the UK is still clinging on to SMS, because Hangouts, iMessage and WhatsApp don't talk to each other and everyone is using something different. Is ChatON likely to burst through as the standard? Probably not.