Verizon has announced it will begin preloading Android messages as the default messaging app on its Android phones starting next year.
Google has been working to speed up adoption of the RCS messaging standard. Default text messaging on Android is basic SMS, with minimal security and none of the advanced features Apple iMessage users enjoy.
RCS is Android’s answer, adding group chats, read receipts, file transfers, end-to-end encryption and more. After years of waiting for carriers to adopt the protocol, Google finally started implementing it in Android themselves, and the carriers soon got on board.
Verizon is now the third major US carrier, behind T-Mobile and AT&T to announce adoption. Beginning next year, all Android phones will come preloaded with the new Android app, Messages by 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,” said Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group. “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.”
“Verizon and Google have been working together on Android since the early days of smartphones, and we’re excited to be working with Verizon today to bring a modern-messaging experience to our users,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of Platforms & Ecosystems.