If you fired up your Messenger app this morning, you might have noticed something different: It’s now called Android Messages. And while the new name doesn’t actually change anything about the way we use it, it could lead to big things down the road.
Amir Sarhangi, head of Rich Communication Services at , explained in a blog post that the new name is a step toward finally creating a default universal messaging app on Android. As it currently sts, the app formerly known as Messenger comes preloaded on xel Nexus devices some others, but for the most part, the messaging experience on Android is even more fractured than the OS itself. Many manufacturers ship their own default SMS/MMS app, most users end up turning to atsApp, lo, or Hangouts for their texting needs.
is looking to change that with Android Messages. Going forward, Android Messages will be the default app shipping on a wide variety of phones not made by , including hsets from some big-name manufacturers such as , Motorola, Sony, HTC. Additionally, numerous smaller phone makers have also agreed to the change, including ZTE, Micromax, HMD Global (Nokia), Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, nix, Eco, va, Kyocera, Myone, QMobile, Symphony ko. However, missing from that list is the biggest Android manufacturer of all: Samsung.
Furthermore, is also moving forward with bringing the RCS stard to Android phones. th support for high-quality photos videos (up to 10MB), location sharing, read receipts, the ability to see when someone is typing a message, RCS would deliver a robust communication experience on Android. But it’s not going to happen overnight. has announced that while some carriers are on board with the change—Sprint, Rogers, Telenor, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Globe, Vodafone—notably absent are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile. So, there’s still a long way to go.
However, seems to be serious this time. Sarhangi also outlined how RCS can improve business communication launched an Early Access ogram for companies to explore the technology. Numerous companies are already participating in the program, including Virgin Trains, lgreens, Baskin-Robbins, GameStop, Subway, many others.
t’s chat: Messaging on Android has always paled in comparison to the experience on the ione. th Apple’s devices, you need only sign into your iCloud account your chat history will be automatically synced whenever you buy a new Mac, ione, or id. It’s the single greatest advantage Apple has over Android, is likely the reason many people stay inside the walled garden. A new name for Messenger isn’t going to close that gap, nor will it change the fact that has three different messaging apps—all with their share of shortcomings—but this move does give us hope that one day we’ll be able to buy a new phone, sign into our account, be able to pick up where we left off on our last conversation.