Samsung on Wednesday announced a collaboration with Google for the latter's Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android. The collaboration involves the integration of Android Messages and Samsung Messages to work together and offer features including the ability to chat over Wi-Fi networks, create rich group chats, see typing indicators and read receipts, and share high-quality multimedia across multiple platforms. As part of this collaboration, the combined RCS features will be first brought to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ as well as every new Samsung smartphone launched here on. Phones running on supported carriers will be the first to get the features.
This partnership also allows RCS Business Messaging users, mainly developers and brands, to reach customers of both Android Messages and Samsung Messages, expanding their RCS reach.
To elaborate, the integration will be made available on the Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8 Active, and select Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones with immediate effect. Essentially, all Samsung phones compatible with Android 9.0 Pie will be eligible, subject to carrier and market availability.
"At Samsung, we adhere to a model of open collaboration to bring premium experiences to our customers across products," said Patrick Chomet, EVP and Head of Product and Services Innovation Team, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics in a blog post. "By furthering our robust partnership with Google, we will bring a richer messaging experience to our customers, letting them seamlessly chat with their friends and family across messaging platforms. This collaboration will help further the industry's momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage."
Back in April this year, Google had announced a new app called 'Chat', which acts as an RCS-based SMS replacement platform for Android Messages. The company also announced that it would be pausing investment in Allo, another one of its multiple messaging platform projects.
Separately, Samsung in March 2017 had announced that its RCS service is compliant with GSMA RCS specifications, making it a true successor to the SMS/ MMS phase.