Samsung and Google Collaborate on RCS Messaging for Android

Expanded partnership will bring enhanced messaging experiences and interoperability between Samsung Messages and Android Messages.

Samsung and Android messages rcs
Samsung and Android Message apps will work seamlessly with their RCS integration.

Although no Kenyan mobile phone networks have announced support for Rich Communication Services (RCS), a press release from Samsung has announced a partnership between the company and Google.

The partnership will ensure RCS features will work seamlessly between the Samsung Messages and Android Messages apps which are the default SMS apps on their respective devices. That means features like typing indicators, better group chats, texting over Wi-Fi, high-res images, and read receipts will work between the apps.

The press release reads:

Samsung and Google have announced they are working together to offer an enhanced smartphone messaging experience, accelerating the industry initiative toward global RCS coverage and interoperability. This collaboration will ensure that Android Messages and Samsung Messages will work seamlessly together and with RCS messaging, enabling features like the ability to chat over WiFi, create rich group chats, see typing indicators and read receipts, and share high-resolution photos and videos across platforms.

Working together, Google and Samsung will ensure that their messaging clients, Android Messages and Samsung Messages, work seamlessly with each company’s RCS technology, including cloud and business messaging platforms. To date, Google and Samsung have collaborated to introduce RCS to select Samsung devices; as part of this expanded collaboration, Samsung will work to bring these RCS features to existing mobile phones beginning with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. New Samsung Galaxy smartphones will also natively support RCS messaging, starting with those on a set of carriers that have or will soon launch RCS. This means that consumers and brands will be able to enjoy richer chats with both Android Messages and Samsung Messages users.

“At Samsung, we adhere to a model of open collaboration to bring premium experiences to our customers across products,” said Patrick Chomet, EVP and Head of Product & Services Innovation Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “By furthering our robust partnership with Google, we will bring a richer messaging experience to our customers, letting them seamlessly chat with their friends and family across messaging platforms. This collaboration will help further the industry’s momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage.”

“We’ve been working with the mobile industry to upgrade the messaging experience on Android with RCS,” said Anil Sabharwal, Vice President for Communications Products and Photos at Google. “Samsung has been a major contributor to this initiative, and our partnership will further advance our shared vision of a substantially improved messaging experience on Android for users, brands and the broader Android ecosystem.”

Currently, Safaricom’s parent company Vodafone is the only UK network to currently offer RCS support.

As a further benefit of this expanded partnership, developers and brands that create RCS Business Messaging experiences (based on GSMA Universal Profile 2.0) using the Google or Samsung Messaging-as-a-Platform (MaaP) services will be able to reach both Android Messages and Samsung Messages users, bringing richer business messaging to many more users.

This collaboration further accelerates the adoption and availability of RCS globally, enabling an enhanced messaging experience across the entire Android ecosystem.