|What is my age:||28|
Is messaging the same as texting?
Google has spent nearly a decade trying — and failing — to fix it with an ever-rotating cast of poorly supported apps. While iPhone users have had the simplicity of iMessage built in, Android users have been left to fend for themselves.
Now, the company is doing something different. Google has been quietly corralling every major cellphone carrier on the planet into adopting technology to replace SMS. In order to have some kind of victory in messaging, Google first had to admit defeat. Chat is not a new texting app. Instead, think of it more like a new set of features inside the chatting text messages already installed on most Android phones.
But remember, Chat is a carrier-based service, not a Google service. The new Chat services will be turned on for most people in the near future, though timing will be dictated by each carrier. Google is optimistic many carriers will flip the switch this year, but there could be some stragglers. Though, again, it will be up to the carriers. Nobody outside of Apple knows when or if the iPhone will support Chat.
Instead of continuing to push Allo — or creating yet another new chat app — Google is instead going to introduce new features into the default Android Messages app, like GIF search and Google Assistant. Android Messages will be the default on many but not all Android phones. Google has put a new executive in charge of the effort: Anil Sabharwal.
He led the chatting text messages that created the Google Photos appswhich are perhaps the most successful Google apps of the past few years. Sabharwal has to find a way to make the default texting experience on Android not just good, but part of a dominant global network that can actually compete with the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage.
And he needs to do it without alienating any of the hundreds of powerful companies that have a stake in the smartphone market. That transition is taking awhile and at some point, Google will need to clear up its messaging for consumers that are still using Hangouts for personal texting. Android Messages has all the users. That adds up to million monthly active users, according to Sabharwal. People, even intend to just use the default app. Sabharwal estimates that 8 trillion SMS-based messages are sent every year.
Reply to incoming messages using sms chat
Put more bluntly: Google is giving up on having its own consumer messaging app, a he-up competitor to Facebook Messenger. We fundamentally build products because we believe we can deliver better, improved user experiences. Take a step back. It seems ridiculous that a company as large and powerful as Google would simply give up on directly competing in the messaging space, but chatting text messages we are.
The question, then, is how on earth did we get here? To get it started, it has had to corral more than 40 carriers and nearly a dozen manufacturers into adopting a new standard. It had to ensure that Chat would work the same, everywhere, and that it would actually have a decent set of features. Oh, and all those companies are fierce competitors who distrust each other and Google. It is as close to the hardest, most winding road that I can imagine for fixing the messaging mess on Android.
It had a huge, splashy launch befitting its scope, and it successfully managed to merge a bunch of disparate Google apps into a single, unified system. Extricating Hangouts from that fiasco took years.
All the while, the thing began to feel slow and lumbering on phones, and too basic on desktops. Hangouts is now an enterprise chat app deed to compete with Slack. The next road Google took was more obvious: launch a new, mobile-first texting app and convince people to use it.
That app was Allo, which launched two years ago. Allo also likely suffered from Google messaging app fatigue. It turns out, they were right. WhatsApp worked because it was tied to phone s and let users avoid paying SMS fees. And it had the benefit of being the first popular app to take advantage of push notifications. Facebook Messenger worked because it was built on Facebook.
Allo had no such strategy for acquiring users.
Simple, helpful messaging by google
The notification encouraged them to install the app though they could reply directly without it. Two years later, fewer than 50 million Android users have installed Allo. One would think that Google has more than enough leverage to simply create something that the carriers would have to accept whether they like it or not.
What are Verizon and Deutsche Telecom and all the rest going to do, switch to Tizen in protest? But the truth is that these carriers have points of leverage over Google that go beyond choosing to sell Android phones.
The 7 best texting apps
Android is, after all, open source. A carrier could set Bing as the default search, for example, or set up its own RCS client as the default texting app. Perhaps Google could have gotten away with a proprietary, baked-in messaging protocol back in when iMessage launched. In sum, Google tried damn near everything. Only two ro were left: one that would cause all its carrier partners to freak out and one that handed them the keys to a shiny new messaging platform they could call their own.
Instead of the nuclear option, Google wants to keep the platform at least nominally neutral.
He continues:. We are fundamentally an open ecosystem. We believe in working with partners. We believe in working with our OEMs to be able to deliver a great experience.
SMS is awful. It started as a kind of a hack on top of preexisting cellular systemsand it never really developed much. The Multimedia Messaging Service add-on came later and was equally crappy.
Exclusive: chat is google’s next big fix for android’s messaging mess
This is a problem that needs fixing. All the while, they were getting disrupted by tech companies who simply made over-the-top vertically integrated messaging products that just relied on data connections. So ignore it. You can either be part of the replacement or continue to watch Apple and Facebook run away with text messaging. Google has also been lining up businesses that want to replace SMS for communicating with customers. Instead of a text message with a short link, you can have your boarding pass or Subway sandwich order or whatever appear right in your texting app.
Right now, the best options for businesses that want rich messaging opportunities for customers are iMessage and Facebook — neither of which are as universal as SMS. Carriers have slowly been coming on board. As of this writing, 55 carriers, 11 OEMs, and two operating system providers have all pledged to either adopt or switch over to the RCS Universal Profile. The two operating system providers that have ed on to the Universal Profile: Google and, interestingly, Microsoft.
Europe and Latin America are likely to enable it before US carriers. Our goal is to get this level of quality messaging to our users on Android within the next couple of years. T-Mobile has promised to do so in Q2 of this year.
The middle period is going to be annoying. But I have a hunch that the pressure is on to get Apple to support Chat, not just from Google but from carriers and other businesses. Apple declined to comment. The good news is that Google appears to have herded all the carrier cats into a box where their Chat services will actually be interoperable. Any communication standard that depends on the largess of wireless carriers is inherently at risk of getting messed up in dozens of ways, including price. Instead, Google believes that it can deliver Google services inside the Android Messages app.
So expect a couple things to happen on the app front. First, Google will finally make a desktop web interface for texting.