If there’s one area where iOS beats Android, it’s texting. Android has long struggled to create a clean, coherent texting service that features anything extra. While Google has tried a number of attempts to streamline messaging on Android, its best bet is in RCS, a newer messaging technology than SMS. But RCS has struggled to be fully accepted by carriers. Fortunately for Google, Verizon’s SVP of Consumer Products, Aparna Khurjekar, announced today that Verizon support for RCS is arriving in “early 2019.”
While the other major U.S. carriers currently support RCS, only Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile (limited capabilities) support the Universal Profile that allows RCS to operate between carriers. AT&T only supports RCS between its own customers and Verizon has traditionally used a proprietary system as well.
Fortunately, the GSMA (which hosted the conference where Verizon made the announcement) says that Verizon will support Universal Profile 1.0. While Verizon hasn’t spoken on the matter, we’re crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.
Additionally, AT&T gave a statement to The Verge stating that they were in the midst of upgrading their network to support Universal Profile.
RCS brings in new features over SMS including support for group chats, typing indicators, read receipts, and HD multimedia. It’s fast, fluid, and far handier, though messages aren’t encrypted. While it’s taken a long time, our hope is that by mid-2019, we’ll have support for RCS across all major U.S. carriers, marking the start of a new era in texting between Android devices.
Have you used RCS? Do you like it?