Verizon to Adopt Messages by Google as Default SMS/RCS App

Three of the biggest carriers in the US will now offer RCS by default

Verizon and Google have announced a collaboration to make RCS the default messaging format for Android users starting in 2022.

Verizon announced the change today, stating that it will start pushing phones with Messages by Google pre-loaded starting in 2022. The move will see more customers getting access to rich communication service (RCS) as a standard, a move we’ve already seen supported by AT&T and T-Mobile. 

Messages by Google on a rendered smartphone

Google

"Our customers depend on us to provide a reliable, advanced, and simple messaging platform to stay in touch with the people that matter the most in their lives," Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, said in the official announcement.

"By working with Google, Verizon will offer our Android users a robust messaging experience that allows them to engage with loved ones, brands, and businesses in new and innovative ways."

The company says that having RCS as a standard will allow consumers to enjoy higher-quality photos and videos, chatting over Wi-Fi or mobile data, as well as knowing when your messages are read. Additionally, RCS unlocks the capability for more robust group chats, as well as secure messaging, thanks to end-to-end encryption in one-on-one conversations.

Those who like using Verizon’s previous default messaging app, Message+, will still be able to take advantage of RCS, as Verizon plans to update the app before the end of the year. If you’d like to start taking advantage of RCS’ extra security now, you can already install Messages by Google from the App Store.

It's notable to see AT&T, T-Mobile, and now Verizon teaming with Google, as just months ago, the future of RCS seemed rather bleak and unneeded, given the assortment of other messaging apps available. This could be the turning point that RCS needs to become a more viable messaging standard, though.

However, it is important to understand that even when Verizon starts pushing RCS as its default messaging standard, any texts sent between iPhones and Androids will fall back to traditional SMS format. It's unclear if Apple will adopt RCS in the future, allowing for more secure and robust messaging between iPhone and Android devices.

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