Guess what, folks? Google is launching yet another messaging app for Android.
Following the death of GChat, the waning use of Hangouts and Allo’s complete failure to gain traction, Google is plotting another app for Android.
This one, according to reports, will just be called ‘Chat’.
The idea is to augment the traditional Android Messages SMS app with a Rich Communications Services alternative.
The RCS-based app will make the basic SMS functionality as media rich as the top messaging apps.
It’ll offer proper group chatting, read receipts and typing indicators, as well as full-res images and videos.
There’ll also be a web client, which users can log into by scanning a QR code on their phone, but, sadly, no end-to-end encryption.
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It won’t quite be the all-singing-all-dancing solution like Apple’s iMessages app, but it’ll be a huge upgrade on the current state of play.
Before 2018 is up
According to The Verge, Apple plans to roll out the Chat services within the existing Android Messages app ‘in the near future’, but it might be next year before everyone gets access.
As always, the hold-up will be courtesy of the mobile carriers. Seeing as this runs over traditional networks, it won’t be a case of just updating the app via Google Play.
The good news is, the messages will be sent over the data plan rather than charging users for an SMS message.
Google says it is “pausing” work on Allo, but the Duo video calling platform remains alive and well.
We’re still not sure why Google can’t just make the answer to iMessage everyone would prefer, but this new Chat app should be an upgrade at least.
Do you think Google’s ‘Chat’ app can finally solve the confusing mess that is Android messaging? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.