Huawei is set to integrate Google's Android Messages app into its smartphone portfolio, the two companies said Wednesday. The move is described as Huawei's attempt to support Google's Jibe RCS hub and allow wireless carriers to adopt both the cloud and hub aspects of the solution as part of their efforts to deploy RCS messaging. Additionally, the company is hoping it will improve its own products by updating them with a more versatile messaging service. From a consumer perspective, the partnership will be most evident in Huawei's default messaging app of choice as its devices will soon start using Android Messages for SMS, Wi-Fi, and RCS communications. The fact that the app will be pre-loaded on Huawei's devices won't prevent anyone from using any of its alternatives due to the open nature of the Android ecosystem.
The collaboration is understood to be long-term in nature and will lead to all future Huawei-made handsets coming with a pre-installed version of Android Messages. The company's existing devices will receive the same app as part of an over-the-air software package set to be distributed in the near future. The Chinese original equipment manufacturer said it will begin integrating Android Messages into its mobile devices over the "coming months" but didn't elaborate on the matter, implying a Q2 rollout. The implementation will be of the complete variety and bring all capabilities of Google's RCS solution to Huawei's devices, including group chats and typing indicators. Native support for video calls will also be part of the Android Messages experience on Huawei's smartphones, as will VoLTE and Google Duo integration.
On the grand scale of things, Huawei's decision to embrace Android Messages may be part of its effort to make its devices more appealing to consumers in the West. Unlike users in the company's home country, those in the West are largely used to an Android experience that's heavily reliant on Google's apps and services like the Play Store, nearly all of which are banned in the Far Eastern country. The firm is hence reportedly working on revamping EMUI to bring it more in line with consumer expectations in the West and its decision to adopt Android Messages may be the first major move on that front.