With numerous messaging clients in its arsenal, Google is steadily figuring out the sense of purpose for each one. It’s default messaging (SMS) app is now being rebranded from ‘Messenger’ to ‘Android Messages’. The change has already started rolling out alongside a series of announcements related to RCS (rich communication services).
The primary motivation behind the renaming process for Google’s default messaging app was that the service is now becoming a major limb of the Android ecosystem. The tech giant says that it is leading an industry-focused effort but with telecom carriers and OEMs by its side. The change in name to Android Messages, as mentioned by Amir Sarhangi, Head of RCS at Google, signals that it is now a full-fledged messaging app that supports RCS by default — which was introduced recently.
But, the name change could possibly have also been executed because it was frequently confused with Facebook Messenger. The social media giant’s messaging service is also represented using a blue icon and called Messenger. But, there’s certainly one major difference. The latter has over 1 billion users and that number is steadily increasing, while users might not even know about a default message app on Android.
Google is looking to eliminate this very problem by renaming the app to Android Messages and is now courting manufacturer partners to include this default app on their devices. This would replace the custom app that they usually bake into their custom UI/ROMs. The current list of partners include, LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, ZTE, Micromax, Nokia, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, Lanix, LeEco, Lava, Kyocera, MyPhone, QMobile, Symphony and Wiko, along with Pixel and Android One devices, reports The Verge.
Further, it has also been added that the Mountain View-based technology giant has signed up a bunch of telecom carriers to adopt the concept of “Universal Profiles” for RCS. The carriers, Sprint, Rogers, Telenor, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Globe, and Vodafone, are working on bulking up using Google’s RCS service whereas others are just doing it themselves. This will ensure that rich messages are always delivered when sent by an Android user, and there are no hiccups.
For those unaware with RCS, it is an attempt to jazz up the messaging service with the addition of enhanced features such as detailed contact info, emoticons, location share, multimedia and file sharing using your data connection or Wi-Fi. You don’t necessarily have to depend on your mobile balance to send or receive messages. It is basically making the messaging service look more like iMessages, if that makes the term easier to understand.