According to a recent report, Google teams up with telecom operators to replace SMS on Android with a new standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS). The new platform is more promising than the traditional Short Message Service because it allows users to insert videos, photos and other media with greater ease in their communications.
The web search giant is currently working with a slew of mobile carriers to implement the new standard on all Android devices. Still, RCS is not a Google invention. It was developed by mobile operators.
Reportedly, the new standard will be adopted by all 800 mobile operators that are part of a global consortium called the GSMA. The client that will use the standard is currently dubbed Jibe, and a Google team is working on its compatibility across all mobile platforms.
Experts explained that RCS is the next best thing for mobile messaging because it supports high-resolution images, group chat, and easy to access links just like popular messaging apps can. Developers are trying to implement video calls on the new standard, as well. Fortunately, the new standard will not ditch SMS and MMS for now.
But the GSMA has been trying to implement the new standard on all devices for more than decade. And now it has apparently found an enough-motivated partner in Google which needs to find a better alternative to Facebook’s WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage.
Nevertheless, since Apple has developed its own standard it is less likely that it would adopt RCS on its devices. But the fact that 80 percent of mobile devices across the world are powered by Android, RCS may grant Google a significant edge against competitors in the messaging war.
Plus, RCS may soon become more popular than its competitors since it will be compatible with all devices across all carriers. So, it won’t be a surprise, if it becomes the next universal standard.
On the other hand, some security experts are concerned that the new standard may make communications less secure than those on popular messaging apps. Experts explained that Apple and Facebook have closed systems, while RCS uses nodes from several carriers to convey the message, which makes it more vulnerable to malicious attacks and government prying.
Philip Lieberman of the cybersecurity research firm Lieberman Software described the new standard as ‘primitive.’ He explained that the system connects one carrier to another, thus, putting encryption at risk.
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