A top-tier Android phone can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and for that money, you’ll get some amazing features. It will have a stellar screen, top-flight camera, gobs of storage, and an absolutely atrocious texting experience. It’s a problem. In fact, it’s always been a problem. Google has spent nearly a decade trying — and failing — to fix it with an ever-rotating cast of poorly supported apps. While iPhone users have had the simplicity of iMessage built in, Android users have been left to fend for themselves.
Now, the company is doing something different. Instead of bringing a better app to the table, it’s trying to change the rules of the texting game, on a global scale. Google has been quietly corralling every major cellphone carrier on the planet into adopting technology to replace SMS. It’s going to be called “Chat,” and it’s based on a standard called the “Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services.” SMS is the default that everybody has to fall back to, and so Google’s goal is to make that default texting experience on an Android phone as good as other modern messaging apps. As part of that effort, Google says it’s “pausing” work on its most recent entry into the messaging space, Allo. It’s the sort of “pause” that involves transferring almost the entire team off the project and putting all its resources into another app, Android Messages. Google won’t build the iMessage clone that Android fans have clamored for, but it seems to have cajoled the carriers into doing it for them.
Google Talk (also known as Google Chat) is an instant messaging service that provides both text and voice communication. The instant messaging service is colloquially known as 'Gchat', 'Gtalk', or 'Gmessage' to its users. Google Talk was also the name of the client applications previously offered by Google to use the service. Google Talk applications were available for. The official Google Chrome extension, Chat for Google, lets you move chat out of your browser and onto your desktop. Hangouts bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android, and Apple devices.
In order to have some kind of victory in messaging, Google first had to admit defeat. Illustration by William Joel & Garret Beard What Chat will be Chat is not a new texting app. Instead, think of it more like a new set of features inside the app already installed on most Android phones.
“Chat” is the consumer-friendly name for Rich Communication Services (RCS), the new standard that’s meant to supplant SMS, and it will automatically be turned on inside Android Messages, the OS’s default app for texting. When people begin using Chat, they’ll get many features that are standard in any other texting app, including read receipts, typing indicators, full-resolution images and video, and group texts. But remember, Chat is a carrier-based service, not a Google service. It’s just “Chat,” not “Google Chat.” In a sign of its strategic importance to Google, the company has spearheaded development on the new standard, so that every carrier’s Chat services will be interoperable. But, like SMS, Chat won’t be end-to-end encrypted, and it will follow the same legal intercept standards. In other words: it won’t be as secure as iMessage or Signal. The new Chat services will be turned on for most people in the near future, though timing will be dictated by each carrier.