In a Tweet posted by @Android today, Google and AT&T have agreed to make Google Messages the default messaging app for all Android phones sold by the carrier. While most Android devices already come pre-installed with Google Messages, Samsung phones continued arriving with Samsung’s built-in messaging app that did support RCS, but does not support Google’s recently enabled end-to-end encryption for one-on-one chats.
Share full-resolution pictures
Send higher-quality videos
Chat over Wi-Fi or data
Participate in dynamic group chats
— Android (@Android) June 30, 2021
With T-Mobile agreeing to do the same a few months ago, and now AT&T pledging to completely switch to Google Messages’ RCS, Verizon is the only major US carrier left to make the pledge to make Google Messages the default app for messaging on its Android phones. As of now, Verizon continues to pre-load its self-branded Messages+ app as the default
This solidifies RCS in a world where Android users are just finally able to have a Messaging experience closer to Apple’s robust iMessage. Apple has not commented on whether iPhones will ever support RCS messaging. If Apple were to support RCS, it threatens the closely-knit ecosystem that iMessage holds between Apple users that keeps them from wanting to leave. On the other hand, SMS is an insecure and outdated protocol that may compromise Apple’s focus on privacy.