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Google takes on Apple iMessage with enhanced SMS for Android

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Android Messages will deliver a serious texting upgrade and come loaded on phones sold by more than 27 mobile operators and device makers around the world.
In the battle of texting apps, Google has a plan to create a unified, interactive texting experience across all Android devices using RCS and the Android Messages app. But not everyone is being a team player.
Google ‘s plan to bring SMS text messaging into the modern internet age and compete against Apple iMessage is finally taking shape.
Google’s newly named Android Messages will be embedded on Android phones sold by more than 27 mobile operators and device makers giving users an enhanced SMS experience.
On Friday, the company said 27 more wireless operators and device makers around the world will soon roll out support for Rich Communications Services, or RCS, a standard that adds enhanced features to SMS texting, like high resolution photo sharing, read receipts and group chat options. Mobile carriers, including Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Globe, will join Sprint , Rogers and Telenor, in preloading Android with the newly named Android Messages as the standard messaging app on phones their subscribers use.
Several manufacturers, such as LG, Motorola, Sony and ZTE, have also said they’ll embed the technology in their phones so it’s preloaded on devices sold throughout the world. With the roll out announced today, more than 1 billion subscribers globally will be ready to access this new messaging technology, Amir Sarhangi, head of RCS at Google said.
“Last year, it was about getting alignment with different partners and working to get the technology pieces in place,” Sarhangi said in an interview. “This year, it’s about launching the service, so subscribers can start using the enhanced features.

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