Google Develops 'Chat' Encompassing Apple iMessage Like Functionalities

Google isn't putting as much resources into Allo as it used to.                  CNET

Google is switching gears in the messaging space once again, and will now focus on a new service called Chat, which will try and improve the standard SMS app on Android phones. What if your Android Messages app could do all that WhatsApp offered- such as sending images/videos, read receipts, typing indicator etc.?

Google is reportedly "pausing investments" in its "Allo" mobile messaging app that was launched with much fanfare in 2016. But now things might be about to change since Google has chose to bring an application called 'Google Chat' which will encompass functionalities of iMessage and will allow Android users to use the messaging service effortlessly.

Like WhatsApp and iMessage, Chat will also have a desktop interface for texting.

"Google has been quietly corralling every major cellphone carrier on the planet into adopting technology to replace SMS", reported the Verge. Unlike other chat applications online, such as Telegram or Signal, Chat does not have end-to-end encryption and is thus less secure.

Since Hangouts (which later became an enterprise app) and Allo both of these apps couldn't replace the standard SMS app, we can expect this Chat service to replace the standard SMS on all Android platforms later this year.

In the past half a decade, Google has launched so many messaging apps, that at some point I have lost count of them.

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While many people prefer using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to communicate, there are still nearly 23 billion text messages sent every day. Destined to be simply called Chat, the service supports RCS.

Chat apparently appears like the last chance for Google to fix the texting experience on Android as Google has spent almost a decade trying and fixing its lot of text messaging services but didn't seem to get far. Now you might be rolling your eyes and think that this is just another texting app from Google, but that's hardly the case. And from what we hear for now it seems that the Chat service that Google is preparing is going to be very different from apps like WhatsApp or even Apple's iMessage. This also allows Android Messages to compete directly with iMessage, which already supports all of the features listed above.

Android users will be able to take advantage of the "advanced features" when messaging other Android users as soon as it's rolled out around the globe. It may be annoying for some users as they wait for their carrier to support the new protocol, but Google believes that most will be on board by the end of 2018. And to begin with the utilization of the best resources, Google has appointed a new executive in charge of the effort: Anil Sabharwal.

Since messages are sent over the internet, they will not use up a customer's SMS text message allowance.

At the same time, though, Google's moribund Allo service has been suspended.

Nevertheless, Google's ambitious plans will all depend on the cooperation from mobile network operators, and how much they are willing to switch to Chat over SMS. If it doesn't replace the now atrocious SMS, it can do nothing but watch Facebook and Apple run away with text messaging.

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