We've been talking about this for a long time: Google wants to move SMS to version 2.0 and, in doing so, oppose its protocol to the many competing instant messaging applications, including Apple's iMessage. Thus, it proposes RCS, a protocol that will initially arrive in France and the United Kingdom.
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After a very long wait and a certain lack of responsiveness on the part of telephone operators, Google has finally decided to launch its RCS technology by itself. In this way, Mountain View hopes to make a clean slate of his (many) failures in instant messaging. For the moment, RCS will only arrive in France and the United Kingdom and, not surprisingly, only on Android smartphones in the Messages application. The nature of the operator does not play any role.
Do you need RCS?
The RCS protocol is therefore integrated in a context where instant messaging applications are legion, and it is unlikely that users will stop using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram or any other common application.
Moreover, RCS is not a perfect solution. There is no encryption (unlike many instant messaging applications), which means that messages will have to go through Google's servers. The latter claims that he will not store the messages any longer than necessary, but this is not the first time its word has been questioned. Worse still, the message will be stored in clear on the servers so theoretically readable by those who will be able to access it.
However, Google's role is only temporary. At some point, the telco operators will take over.
How do I activate RCS on my smartphone?
The good news is that you have almost nothing to do. The bad news is, we don't know exactly when it's going to happen. You will receive an alert (a kind of push notification, says The Verge) allowing you to activate RCS. In other words, keep your eyes open!
Source: The Verge