Compared with Apple’s iMessage’s ease of use and versatility, there are few similar apps in the Android camp that can match. Google’s latest instant messaging software, Chat, is an attempt to change that and is officially open to users in the U.S. today. This sMS app for Android users is comparable to iMessage and features such as read receipts, input indicators, and more.
What’s more, any Android phone with rich communications services (RCS) enabled will be able to use Google Chat. For years, Google has been persuading major U.S. carriers to join in, and eventually uses its own servers to provide optional, RCS-based messaging services.
While Google hopes Google Chat will develop into a competition for Apple’s iMessage, there are still shortcomings in some areas. First, some carriers, including Verizon and AT?amp;T, still can’t use RCS to connect with each other. But Google says the situation will improve by 2020 and will be supported by these carriers.
At the same time, Google’s new messaging solution has at least one serious flaw compared to iMessage – the lack of end-to-end encryption, which is also provided by rival services such as Signal and WhatsApp.
When Sanaz Ahari, Google’s senior director of product and design, tweeted last week, users needed to update messages and carrier services on their phones. In a blog post in November, she also said the Chat service would be available to users in the U.K., France and Mexico in June next year after it rolled out in the U.S. at the end of the year.