Chat is Google's counter to iMessages

'Chat' is the name of Google's RCS-based iMessage alternative, coming to Android soon

Google pauses work on Allo in favor of “Chat,” an RCS-based messaging standard

So if you are using Allo, you might want to start weening yourself off. Raise your hand if you really loved GChat.

Do you think Google's "Chat" app can finally solve the confusing mess that is Android messaging? He has confirmed that company is "pausing" development work on Allo to push their resources towards the new messaging system. Confused? Yeah, I thought you might be.

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is richer, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia. The Android Messages app will power the long awaited RCS platform that Google has been working with carriers and OEMs for years on with the aim of doing away with the severely limited SMS platform, and now we know that platform is being given a name called "Chat". The two-year-old chat platform was intended as a replacement for Hangouts for personal users, but most have either stuck with Hangouts, or migrated to Whatsapp, Telegram and other more popular services. Which means that it won't have end-to-end encryption, and will be open to the same legal rules as SMS.

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If everything goes according to plan, Google will be able to replace the SMS app in Android phones with the Chat app in the coming months. If Google can bring this service to fruition, admittedly, it would be pretty cool though. It'll include highlights like read receipts, having the capacity to see other individuals writing, full-resolution pictures and video, and group messaging.

The new standard is named RCS, or rich communication services.

If you're texting someone who's on a carrier that doesn't support Chat, then it'll switch to a traditional SMS, much like iMessage. Now though, 55 carriers, 11 OEMs, and two operating system providers have promised to adopt the new technology or make the necessary switch for it. Instead, it will attempt to upgrade the existing Android Messages app with a new set of underlying carrier-based features.

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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 this will roll out, Google expects that most of those carriers will activate Chat services by the end of the year.

'The GSMA has been working for nearly a decade to foster broader adoption of RCS as a way to compete with third-party instant messaging and voice apps, but adoption over the years has been patchy, ' Raghu Gopal from CCS Insight told the Guardian.

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