For 30 years of SMS, Google has been trying to bury the standard once and for all

For 30 years of SMS, Google has been trying to bury the standard once and for all

The SMS is thirty years old. On December 3, 2022, the famous communication protocol celebrated a symbolic holiday, corresponding to the first text message sent from one mobile phone to another in 1992. For this occasion, Google Unveil new features in the Messages app Designed to make SMS more obsolete.

Emojis for end-to-end encryption and interaction

Those who use Google’s native app to send group messages will soon see their communications end-to-end encrypted thanks to new features rolled out by the Android publisher. Message protection and the ability to add “reactions” to messages with any emoji are now implemented in beta of messages. Encryption of face-to-face conversations has been around for a few years now.

But there is a subtlety to this ad. These new features are not actually accessible to SMS users, as they are reserved for RCS messages. Developed since 2007, RCS wants to be an alternative to antediluvian SMS. This protocol provides more flexibility in everyday communications. It is a standard messaging system that uses a mobile phone’s Internet connection to pass multimedia files more easily or to facilitate the deployment of features such as end-to-end encryption.

RCS, Stealth SMS Replacement

It is possible that you are using RCS without knowing it. Google Messages (pre-installed on some Samsung mobiles) uses RCS instead of SMS whenever possible. When you send a message, your phone checks whether the opposite mobile phone is able to open the RCS communication channel instead of SMS. And if so, it passes your messages through this protocol. The manipulation is almost invisible to the smartphone owner as the message is sent as usual, thanks to the same app, but over the internet instead of the phone network.

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The deployment of new encryption features and the ability to add any emoji brings the Google app a little closer to real instant messengers like WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram. It’s also a sign that Google is pushing RCS communication tools more and more, at the expense of good old SMS, which doesn’t have the technical capabilities to encrypt messages or offer other advanced tools. The company also took the opportunity to deal with Apple, And that still doesn’t support RCS in iMessage.

Today, all major carriers and cell phone manufacturers have adopted RCS as a standard, except for Apple. It refuses to embrace RCS remote control and continues to rely on texting when people with iPhones send text messages to people with Android phones, which means that Their text messages are stuck in the ’90s.”Google deplores in a post titled “Happy Birthday Bye Text Messages”.

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