Samsung Electronics and Google are currently working to ensure that the users of their respective messaging applications, Samsung Messages and Android Messages, can communicate with each other seamlessly using the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol, the two companies announced in a statement. Samsung noted that this collaboration could result in widespread adoption of the messaging protocol as well as an enhanced messaging experience among users of Android smartphones. This partnership aims to make the two messaging applications fully compatible with the RCS technologies developed by the two companies, including the protocols designed for cloud and business messaging platforms. For example, businesses that create messages using the tools developed by either Google or Samsung can now send those messages to both Android Messages and Samsung Messages users, without the need to recompose the message using a different set of tools. Consumers also benefit from this collaboration, since they can now engage in richer chats with more users.
Among the features offered by RCS messaging include the ability to chat over Wi-Fi rather than the cellular network, the ability to create group chats, typing indicators and read receipts, and sharing high-resolution photographs and images. RCS also allows users to share information like their current location and it also allows businesses to send interactive updates to the user's messaging application. While many chat apps like Whatsapp and Messenger already provide features similar to what RCS offers, this messaging protocol is designed to be hardware-agnostic, which means it should work with a wide variety of devices. Furthermore, RCS allows users to take advantage of these enhanced messaging features without locking them down to a specific chat platform.
With the expanded collaboration between Google and Samsung, a number of existing devices from the South Korean tech giant will soon receive support for RCS messaging, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus. Other devices that will also get RCS support include select Galaxy A and Galaxy J series handsets that run Android 9 Pie, the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S9 Plus, the Galaxy S8 Active, the Galaxy Note 8, and the Galaxy Note 9. Meanwhile, new Samsung Galaxy devices that will ship to carriers that already offer RCS messaging will have RCS support pre-installed.