Allo kind of tried to be that, but no one uses Allo. Raise your hand if you really loved GChat. Google wants to deliver the technology to as many as consumers as possible which is why it's riding the new standard's wave in hopes to resolve its communication fumbles that riddle the company's history. Confused? Yeah, I thought you might be.
To make the rollout smooth and without any hitch, Google is now arranging with major carriers across the globe to enable them adopt the "Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services".
In an exclusive interview with The Verge, Anil Sabharwal, vice-president of product at Google, revealed the company is "pausing investment" in Allo, the company's AI-powered messaging app, to focus all of its efforts into Android Messages.
[Source Image: Google] Google's messaging strategy has been a mess for more than a decade.
Unfortunately, the one thing RCS is missing is end-to-end encryption, so it won't be as secure as other platforms like iMessage or Signal. Essentially, Chat will allow Google to compete with platforms such as iMessage directly through the Messages app.
While this sounds a lot like iMessage, Chat will not be a clone of Apple's service.
Google has now recruited over 55 operators to support its Chat client, but it doesn't have any idea of when it might roll out the new service. If Google can bring this service to fruition, admittedly, it would be pretty cool though.
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The new Chat will feature numerous things we've come to expect from messaging - read receipts, link previews, true group chats, and typing indicators.
The RCS-based app will make the basic SMS functionality as media rich as the top messaging apps. According to The Verge, the service will "follow the same legal intercept standards".
To date 55 carriers, 11 Android device manufacturers, and two operating system providers (Google and Microsoft) have signed up to support Chat, according to the report.
Allo was announced nearly two years ago at Google I/O alongside the Duo video call app. Duo has gotten good traction and people like using it. Allo, on the other hand, has stagnated.
As for when that happens, Google is expecting that many carriers will follow through this year (2018), but admits that some might dawdle. Rather than Google try to make an iMessage Clone, it has chose to embrace the existing RCS Profile and make it the default messaging experience on Android.