Google Partnering With Sprint and Other Carriers for Rich Communications Services

BY Evan Selleck

Published 4 Nov 2016


Earlier today, it was reported that the Messenger SMS app on Android was getting a pretty big update, with new looks, and new support for features like typing notifications, high-resolution picture sharing and more.

And now Google has confirmed a few more details. Specifically, that a plethora of carriers all over the globe have agreed on a standard Rich Communications Services implementation, and that Android will support it moving forward. That will start with Sprint, who is already supporting RCS now, and that some device owners under the Now Network’s banner will start seeing the benefit of immediately.

With RCS, Android users will get a ton of features in their stock SMS app — as long as it’s the Messenger app. While using the app, users will see read receipts, as well as the aforementioned features above, just by utilizing stock texting. Features like that have traditionally been kept for messaging apps, like Telegram and others, so seeing it expand to stock texting is good news.

“Next year, all new Android devices from Sprint will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging experience. Subscribers currently using select LG and Nexus phones from Sprint will have the messaging experience upgraded automatically through an app update, and subscribers using other Android devices can download Messenger from the Play store.”

The rollout begins today, but it sounds like the majority of Android users under Sprint’s banner will get the feature early next year. Still, that’s not long to wait for some pretty interesting updates.

[via Google Blog]