Android-running smartphones can only send text messages. Google plans to change that by introducing multimedia-rich messages with its RCS platform.

Most industry insiders agree that when it comes to interactive and multimedia-friendly communication, Apple's iMessage is comfortably on top of the list. New reports reveal that Google intends to offer a similar experience via its default Android Messages platform. Sources confirm that it is possible with the help of its Rich Communication Services or RCS, which is currently scheduled for testing. Reports likewise acknowledge that users from the United States and Mexico will be the first ones to try out this feature.

Business Focus

For now, it looks like the enhanced messaging platform will be most relevant to Google's business partners who are looking for an effective way to communicate with consumers. Instead of the usual promotional SMS from companies, users will receive interactive messages with pictures, map directions, and more. The search firm intends to partner with manufacturers and network service providers worldwide to implement a new system for future compatibility with RCS services.

Network Ready Technology

Reports confirm that Google's RCS platform is already compatible with the existing wireless infrastructure provided by most carrier networks. RCS is dependent on the Universal Profile 2 standard that allows communication between the company's platform, network providers, and the businesses that have signed up for the program.

"This means, for example, that a retailer can send beautiful images of their products, rather than a text message, and even let the customer select and buy something, all without leaving the messaging app," as stated by Google.

"Best of all, customers who have already opted in to SMS messages from a business get this upgraded experience automatically in Android Messages," the company added.

A Demonstration This Weekend

Attendees of this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain will be able to catch a demonstration of Google's RCS platform. Several mobile phone companies will be there to showcase their latest and upcoming models. Most of which will reportedly support the new service when it launches globally.

Manufacturers that have signed up to support the company's push for an upgraded messaging service include Alcatel, Intex, Huawei, ZTE, LG, Lenovo, Lava, HMD Global (Nokia), Blu, Multilaser, Mobiwire, Lanix, Kyocera, Samsung, Sony Mobile, HTC, and Pixel.

Twilio, a leading cloud communication platform confirmed its support for RCS as well. "By making rich interactive messaging features available to consumers in their default messaging app, RCS has the potential to be ubiquitous as SMS is today," said Patrick Malatack, Twilio's vice president of product and general manager of messaging.

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