Google to launch an Android chat service akin to Apple's iMessage

James Marshall
April 23, 2018

But the unveiling also represents a strategic retreat for the technology giant, analysts said, which has struggled to prop up a dedicated chat app of its own. However, it will be up to mobile operators to enable the service and it does not offer encrypted messages.

Chat offers several upgrades for Android users whose messaging relies on SMS, or short message service, a text-based system that has been widely adopted but surpassed by more feature-rich messaging apps.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Google was planning to "pause" development on its Allo messaging service, reassigning those resources to Android Messages and RCS-which is apparently also being called "Chat" by Google.

Following recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world, lawmakers have increasingly battled with messaging service companies, including WhatsApp, over the rule.

According to The Verge, more than 50 mobile carriers, including Vodafone and T Mobile, have already signed up to the service. Verizon, however, has not.

Google has announced the launch of a new Android messaging in a bid to take on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage. "With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers".

While Chat may draw in new Android users, is it unlikely it will be enough for users to make the switch from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. "Bottom line: Google builds an insecure messaging system controlled by carriers who are in bed with governments everywhere at exactly the time when world publics are more anxious about data collection and theft than ever", Walt Mossberg, a veteran technology writer, tweeted last Friday.

Some of the features include group messages and the option to send and stream videos and it will also let you know when the recipient has read your message.

Like SMS, the new messaging standard is created to work across different carrier networks.

End-to-end encryption also ensures that even the company providing the messaging service, can not access the content of communications.

Communications on the new "Chat" service will not be sent over the Internet but through mobile phone carriers, like SMS text messages, according to reports.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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