Tag Archives: RCS

Less to stress and more to love with Messages by Google

Messaging is how we stay in touch with friends, keep up with family, and get things done. But it’s not always as easy as it should be. Conversations with friends on other platforms can be unnecessarily challenging. Important messages slip through the cracks because of cluttered inboxes. And sometimes we forget entirely to reach out on special occasions.

Our latest updates to Messages by Google help ease some of these pain points so that you’re free to connect with the people you care about — no matter what device they use.

Less out of the loop, more in the group

When people with Android phones and iPhones message each other, not everything works the way it should. That’s because these conversations rely on SMS, an outdated messaging standard, instead of RCS, a modern, more secure industry standard Android uses that enables high-quality videos, emoji reactions, end-to-end encryption and more.

While our latest updates can’t fix everything about Android and iPhone conversations, here are a few ways we're addressing some of the biggest issues we've heard from you.

Better reactions 😍

Feel the love (and laughter, confusion or excitement) from your iPhone friends, too. Reactions from iPhone users are now displayed on your Android phone as emojis, just like when you’re messaging with someone who’s using an Android device. Starting on devices set to English, with additional languages to follow.

Share sharper videos

Today, the RCS standard lets people with Android devices share beautiful, high-quality photos and videos with one another. But unfortunately, without RCS, they look blurry when you share them with your iPhone friends. Now everyone can watch your videos in the same resolution that you do since we’re bringing Google Photos into Messages. You can send your videos as Google Photos links right inside the conversation, preserving their clarity. Coming soon, you’ll be able to send your photos this way, too.

But these new updates can only do so much. We encourage Apple to join the rest of the mobile industry and adopt RCS so that we can make messaging better and more secure, no matter what device you choose.

Less clutter, more conversation

We receive so many messages each day, it can be difficult to separate the important ones from everything else, and easy to miss some altogether. These new tools help you break through the clutter and stay on top of the conversations that matter the most.

Keep your messages organized

Organized inbox automatically sorts your messages into Personal and Business tabs so you can easily find what you need at any given moment — similarly to how most of our email inboxes work. Plus, you can set one-time password messages to be automatically deleted after 24 hours to help reduce the clutter even more. Originally launched in India, this is now expanding to the U.S.

Get relationship superpowers

Did you leave someone hanging recently? Now gentle nudges can remind you to reply to messages you may have missed or need to follow-up on so that nothing important slips through the cracks. This will roll out first to English users around the globe.

Less belated, more elated

It’s way too easy to forget important dates. Here are a few new ways Messages can help you send the right thing at the right moment to your favorite people.

Remember to celebrate 🎉

It’s now easier than ever to remember to wish your friends a happy birthday. If you save someone’s birthday in your device’s contacts app, you’ll get a gentle reminder about your friend’s special day when you open Messages or jump into a conversation with them. (Candles not included.)

Create the perfect emoji

If you have Gboard set as your keyboard in Messages, you don’t need to settle for one emoji to tell your story. Emoji Kitchen is bigger than ever with over 2,000 new emoji mashups available as stickers. Replace heart eyes with pretzels, make it rain disco balls or add some love to your favorite foods in an endless array of emoji possibilities.

Hopefully these updates, which roll out over the coming weeks, make it easier to connect to everyone and everything you care about. Open or download Messages by Google to try them.

Read more about other great features coming to Android.

Helping you connect around the world with Messages

Whether you’re making plans or just catching up, many of us rely on messaging to stay in touch. Messages by Google lets you start a video call from your conversation, message from the web, and use helpful features like Smart Reply, while also protecting you from spam. Today we’re sharing the latest updates we’ve made to Messages to help you connect safely around the world. 

RCS messaging is now available globally

As smartphones get more advanced, our communication apps should also progress to meet our changing needs. For the past few years, we’ve worked with the mobile industry and device makers on several carrier networks in certain countries to provide chat features in Messages based on the open Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard. Chat features upgrade SMS text messaging so you can send and receive better quality photos and videos, chat over Wi-Fi or data, know when your message is read, share reactions, and enjoy more dynamic and engaging group chats. 


Today, we’ve completed our global rollout of chat features to make this modern messaging experience universal and interconnected for everyone on Android. Now anyone using Messages around the world1 has access to modern chat features either from their carrier or directly from Google.

Gif illustrating that chat features are available around the world

More security in your chat conversations 

We recognize that your conversations are private and it’s our responsibility to keep your personal information safe. We’re continually improving security protections to safeguard your privacy and will be rolling out end-to-end encryption, starting with one-on-one RCS conversations between people using Messages. End-to-end encryption ensures that no one, including Google and third parties, can read the content of your messages as they travel between your phone and the phone of the person you’re messaging. This will roll out to beta testers beginning this month and continue into next year. Your eligible conversations will automatically upgrade to be end-to-end encrypted. End-to-end encryption is only available when both you and the person you’re messaging have Messages installed and chat features on. To learn more about this feature, please visit our help center


We’re excited to share these updates and continue to improve the Messages experience around the world. To access the newest features, update your Messages app to the latest version or download the app and turn chat features on.

1 In some cases, RCS availability depends on your device and service provider.

5 Messages features to stay connected in more personal ways

These days I’m messaging loved ones more often since I haven’t been able to see them in person. Staying in touch with them is so important right now, and it may mean quickly checking in, showing support, or simply sharing updates throughout my day. Here are five ways Messages helps you connect with people in more personal and expressive ways:

1. Express your feelings

Now when you receive a photo, video or chat message, you can react to it in an instant. Just long press on the message and you’ll see animated expressions to choose from, like, love, laughter, surprise, sadness, anger and dislike. Reactions are available in Messages conversations with chat features enabled.

Reactions.gif

2. Check in on loved ones

We’re expanding Smart Reply to include suggested stickers to make it easier to let loved ones know you care. If you’ve chosen to turn on Smart Reply suggestions, stickers will automatically show up as you’re texting, so there’s no need to search for one to share in the moment. Suggested stickers are currently available in English.

Suggested stickers.gif

3. Personalize your photos

With a media editor built into Messages, you can easily create art with your photos and share them right in your conversation. To get started, take a photo with the in-app camera and add text or draw on the image using brushes before sharing them with friends and family.

Media editor.gif

4. Go beyond a text

Voice messages are a great way to communicate in a more personal way, especially if you don’t need an immediate response. They’re also perfect for those moments when you simply want to say something instead of sending a text. We’ve recently made it easier to send a voice message with a dedicated button. Now, you can easily let loved ones know you’re thinking of them with a meaningful message or share a quick update by holding down the microphone button within the compose bar to record and attach your message.

Voice messages.png

5. Stay connected even when you’re apart

For the past few months, most of us have been relying on different ways to keep in touch with friends and family because we can't see them in person. With video calling integrated in Messages, it’s easy to move your conversation from texting to a video call to continue your catch up face to face. By tapping on the video call button at the top right corner of the app, you can now easily start a Google Duo video call with the person you’re messaging.

AM-Duo video calling.gif

I’ve been using these features with loved ones to make our conversations more personal and fun. Now you can try them out by updating the app to the latest version or by downloading Messages.

Upgrading messaging on Android in the U.S. with RCS

Our Messages app brings you a seamless and helpful messaging experience on Android, from connecting you on mobile and desktop, giving you suggestions from the Google Assistant, and making it easy to search your conversations.


To make your conversations more seamless, we’ve worked on upgrading traditional SMS text messaging with more useful chat features, powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services). When you and your friends message each other with these chat features, you can chat over Wi-Fi or mobile data, send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages. Plus, you’ll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven’t seen the latest messages. 


Chat features are already available for some of you in Messages, and today we’re starting to broadly roll them out in the U.S. If you already have Messages, you’ll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don’t have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the U.S. by the end of year.
Chat features in Messages.gif

Earlier this year, we enabled the ability for anyone in the UK, France, and Mexico to get chat features in Messages and we’ll continue to work on bringing this to everyone on Messages around the world. We’re also committed to working with our partners, including carriers and device makers, to provide a consistent and interoperable experience for everyone on Android.


Access the Assistant in Messages, plus the latest on RCS

Chances are you’ve sent a handful of messages today—to your family, your friends, and maybe even a business. With Messages, we want to help you easily connect to those people and get more done with fewer taps.


Last year we brought a number of new features to Messages, including better search, quicker access to your camera, GIFs, and the ability to chat from the web. Messages also includes Smart Reply, which gives you quick suggestions for replies. One out of every ten messages in English are sent using Smart Reply, and this week we’re rolling out Smart Reply in Spanish. Today we’re sharing an update on a new feature you’ll start to see soon in the app.


One tap to ask the Google Assistant for more information


Over the coming months, you’ll be able to get help from the Google Assistant within Messages for English users around the globe. The Messages app uses on-device AI to offer suggestion chips (similar to Smart Reply) relevant to your conversation, helping you quickly find and share information about three categories to start: movies, restaurants and weather.


Messages_GIF

You can tap on the suggestion chip to learn more from your Assistant, and if you find the info is helpful, you can share the information in your conversation. If you’re chatting about a movie, you might see a suggestion chip to learn more about that film. By tapping the chip, you can ask the Assistant to pull up a card with recent movie reviews or showtimes, which you can choose to share back into your conversation with just another tap. If you don’t choose to share that information, the other person won’t see it.


Improving the standard messaging experience with RCS


To improve the standard messaging experience on Android, we’ve been working with many of our ecosystem partners, including Samsung, Huawei, America Movil, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telenor, and Vodafone to make RCS (Rich Communication Services) more widely available. Google has helped to launch RCS with partners in 24 countries, bringing enhanced features in your conversations like group chats, read receipts, and high quality media sharing. We will continue to work to bring better messaging to every Android user, regardless of their device or carrier.


We also want to improve the messages you get from brands to be more interactive and give you the opportunity to learn and do more. For example, with Walgreens in the U.S., patients receive prescription refill reminders and notifications when orders are ready for pickup. With Citi, select U.S. credit card and retail bank customers can quickly check their balance or see a short history of recent transactions. These messaging experiences are built as part of Google’s RCS Business Messaging program with messaging partners 3CInteractive and LivePerson.


We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the industry to bring better messaging to Android users everywhere.


Five new features to try in Messages

Over the past few years, we’ve been working on improving the messaging experience on Android—from working with carriers to upgrade their networks to RCS to building new features. With Android Messages, we're creating a messaging experience that's available on multiple devices, lets you share whatever you want to share, and makes it easy to take action on your messages with Google AI. We’ve started making some of these updates to the Messages app and rounded up what’s new to show how you can use these features:

1. Send and receive texts from your computer

Today and over the next week, we’ll begin rolling out Messages for web, one of our top-requested features that lets you send and receive texts from your computer. To get started, select “Messages for web” in the menu of your Messages mobile app. On Messages for web, you can send stickers, emoji, and attach images in addition to sending text.

1

2. Search for and send the perfect GIF

Sometimes, a GIF is worth a thousand words and conveys exactly what you mean. Now, you can tap the + button on the left hand side of the compose bar to search for GIFs for your conversation.

2

3. Use Smart Reply to respond with a tap

Smart Reply saves you time when you’re messaging on the go by suggesting quick text or emoji responses to your messages. Once you’ve tapped a Smart Reply suggestion, it sends immediately. Smart Replies will be available in English for now, and come to more languages over time.

3

4. Preview links within your conversations

The next time your friend sends you a link to an article or a new restaurant, you’ll have an idea of what you’re about to click on. You’ll see an inline preview of the link, directly in your conversation.

4

5. Copy one-time passwords with one tap

Now, when you receive a message with a one-time password or code from a secure site—such as your bank—you can save time by copying that password directly from the message with a tap.

OTP phone

Messages for web is starting to roll out today, with the rest of these features coming to the Messages app over the next week. You can try them out by updating your app to the latest version or by downloading Messages here.

Partnering with the mobile industry to connect people and businesses with RCS

We’ve been partnering with the mobile industry to improve the messaging experience on Android with RCS (Rich Communication Services), bringing more enhanced features to the standard messaging experience on mobile devices. As of today, we are working with 43 carriers and device manufacturers to bring better native messaging to every Android user.

Rich messaging for brands

Last year we created an Early Access Program to make it easier for brands to start participating in RCS business messaging (the mobile industry's term for rich business-to-consumer messages). Today companies across food, travel, retail and delivery services in the U.S. and Mexico are starting to have better conversations with their customers using RCS as part of our Early Access Program.

With RCS, businesses can send more useful and interactive messages to their customers. This means, for example, that a retailer can send beautiful images of their products, rather than a text message, and even let the customer select and buy something, all without leaving the messaging app. Best of all, customers who have already opted in to SMS messages from a business get this upgraded experience automatically in Android Messages.

In the U.S., we’ve collaborated with Sprint to enable campaigns with 1-800 Contacts, 1-800-Flowers.com, Booking.com, SnapTravel and Subway, among others, along with messaging partners 3C, CM.com, Mobivity, OpenMarket, Smooch and Twilio. We’re also working with Telcel to bring campaigns to Mexico soon with 5 Piso, Broxel, DHL Mexico and Secretaria de Salud along with messaging partners Airmovil, Auronix, Aldeamo and Tiaxa.

In the coming months alongside our partners, we’ll bring RCS messaging to businesses in more regions. And next week at Mobile World Congress, our partners will demonstrate how businesses can change the way they engage mobile customers using RCS.

RCS messaging growth in 2017 across Europe and Latin America

To help make RCS truly universal and give Android users a consistent and familiar experience with access to all that RCS messaging offers, we’ve been working closely with carriers and device makers around the world.

Over the past year, carriers across Europe, North America and Latin America including America Movil, AT&T in Mexico, Celcom Axiata Berhad, Freedom Mobile, Oi, Telia Company and Telefonica joined Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, Orange, Rogers Communications, Sprint and Telenor Group in their commitment to launch RCS messaging, powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.They will also preload Android Messages as the default messaging app for their subscribers. Vodafone Group RCS service also supports Android Messages and has already launched across 10 of its 14 RCS markets globally. All carriers are committed to interconnecting through the Jibe RCS Hub to bring RCS messaging to users across networks. Collectively, they represent more than 1.8 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.

To bring better default messaging to hundreds of millions of users, device manufacturers including TCL/Alcatel/Blackberry, Transsion, BLU, Positivo, Multilaser, Mobiwire, Azumi, and Essential are joining Huawei, LG, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, HMD Global - Home of Nokia Phones, HTC, Kyocera, Lanix, Lava, Micromax, Motorola, MyPhone, QMobile, Sony Mobile, Symphony, Vodafone, Wiko, ZTE, along with Pixel and Android One devices in preloading Android Messages as the the default messaging app on their new devices.

We’re excited to see Android Messages and RCS connect more people and businesses, and look forward to expanding our collaboration with the industry to bring better messaging to every Android user.


Source: Android


Huawei to integrate Android Messages across their Android smartphone portfolio

Over the coming months, Huawei will make it even easier for hundreds of millions of people to express themselves via mobile messaging by integrating Android Messages, powered by RCS, across their Android smartphone portfolio.

With Android Messages and RCS messaging, Huawei devices will now offer a richer native messaging and communications experience. Features such as texting over Wi-Fi, rich media sharing, group chats, and typing indicators will now be a default part of the device. Messages from businesses will also be upgraded on Huawei’s devices through RCS business messaging. And Huawei users will be able to make video calls directly from Android Messages through carrier ViLTE and Google Duo.

In addition, to help carriers accelerate deployment of RCS messaging across their networks, we’re collaborating with Huawei to offer the Jibe RCS cloud and hub solution to current and prospective carrier partners, as part of an integrated solution with Huawei's current infrastructure. This will enable a faster process for RCS services so more subscribers can get access to RCS messaging.

Huawei will begin integrating Android Messages across their portfolio in the coming months. For more information, see the following release.

Source: Android


Huawei to integrate Android Messages across their Android smartphone portfolio

Over the coming months, Huawei will make it even easier for hundreds of millions of people to express themselves via mobile messaging by integrating Android Messages, powered by RCS, across their Android smartphone portfolio.

With Android Messages and RCS messaging, Huawei devices will now offer a richer native messaging and communications experience. Features such as texting over Wi-Fi, rich media sharing, group chats, and typing indicators will now be a default part of the device. Messages from businesses will also be upgraded on Huawei’s devices through RCS business messaging. And Huawei users will be able to make video calls directly from Android Messages through carrier ViLTE and Google Duo.

In addition, to help carriers accelerate deployment of RCS messaging across their networks, we’re collaborating with Huawei to offer the Jibe RCS cloud and hub solution to current and prospective carrier partners, as part of an integrated solution with Huawei's current infrastructure. This will enable a faster process for RCS services so more subscribers can get access to RCS messaging.

Huawei will begin integrating Android Messages across their portfolio in the coming months. For more information, see the following release.

Upgrading messaging across Latin America with América Movil, AT&T in México, Oi and Telefónica

One of the most powerful aspects of RCS messaging is the ability to improve everyone’s messaging experience at scale, regardless of network, country, or device type. We’ve been working with the global carriers, device manufacturers, and the GSMA to bring RCS messaging to people across Europe, North America and Asia over the past year, providing a richer carrier messaging experience designed for smartphones. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re working with leading carriers América Móvil, AT&T in México, Oi and Telefónica to bring RCS messaging to people across Latin America. In collaboration with these carriers, we’ll roll out RCS messaging in the countries where they operate over time, bringing better messaging to more than two thirds of all mobile subscribers in Latin America1.

With RCS messaging, subscribers will have access to all the features of a modern messaging experience, such as the ability to create rich group chats, see typing indicators and read receipts, share high-res photos and videos, and more. These features will be available right from the default carrier messaging experience through Android Messages.

The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS Cloud from Google, and will be fully interoperable between networks through the Jibe RCS Hub. In addition to connecting subscribers across América Móvil, AT&T in México, Oi, and Telefónica, we’re also connecting subscribers with other networks on the Jibe RCS Hub such as Sprint and Rogers. So a Telcel subscriber in Mexico City, for example, could have a group chat over RCS with a Movistar subscriber in Mexico City and a Sprint subscriber in the U.S.

RCS_LatAm

As RCS messaging rolls out, people who already have the Android Messages app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Since Android Messages is updatable, subscribers will always get the latest RCS features over time. Subscribers who don't have the app can install the Android Messages app from the Google Play store. Many new Android devices will also come with Android Messages preloaded as the default messaging app.

RCS messaging also upgrades the business messaging experience currently offered through SMS, enabling brands to send more useful and interactive messages. When launched, América Móvil, AT&T in México, Oi, and Telefónica will be able to offer RCS business messaging, helping subscribers access richer messages from the businesses they care about. For example, an airline could provide a full check-in experience, complete with boarding pass and terminal maps, all directly within the messaging experience. Or subscribers could chat with their carrier about options to upgrade their phones or purchase a new data package.

In addition to Latin America, this agreement with América Móvil and Telefónica will also enable the ability to launch RCS Messaging in European markets, joining the growing network of mobile operators offering RCS in Europe, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telenor, and Vodafone.

The RCS service will start rolling out to América Móvil, AT&T in México, Oi and Telefónica subscribers over the coming months.

(1) GSMA Intelligence