Rich Communications Services, the next-gen upgrade to standard texting and MMS on conventional carriers, might just be the quietest, subtlest trend in 2016. It's being adopted by a ton of mobile-focused tech companies, including Google, in the somewhat nebulous hope that systems more than a decade old can be either replaced or augmented with more capable tech. To that end Google is partnering with Canadian carrier Rogers, the first company to join the Jibe standard in the country. Read More
The mobile market is mature enough that there aren't too many issues left when it comes to cross-compatibility between Android and iOS, at least for relatively simple matters like mobile web surfing or SMS. But the latest flagship phones on both sides of the aisle seem to have a bit of digital beef, at least according to a few Pixel owners. This discussion on the Google's product forum details a bizarre bug distorting screenshots sent from the iPhone 7 Plus (the latest and most expensive iPhone) to the Pixel. Read More
To say that there are a lot of SMS clients on Android would be an understatement. Yet most people tend to stick to the default one that came with their phones and we know that a lot of those lack any useful or cool features. The name of Klinker should be familiar to some, since they gave us Talon for Twitter, Sliding Messaging, and EvolveSMS. Even though it's just Luke now, that doesn't mean that the neat apps have stopped. You may recall that back in September, Klinker released a beta for a new messaging app (then called "Messenger"). That app officially released today under the name of Pulse, and it's pretty awesome. Read More
Rich Communications Services, more frequently abbreviated to RCS, is something of a hot-button topic in the mobile tech world right now. It's essentially a replacement for SMS that incorporates a lot of the functions of popular new messaging systems like WhatsApp, supplanting the antiquated text messaging standard with something more capable and flexible. The problem is that "RCS" is something of a generic term, and every gigantic international megacorp and their gigantic international mother wants their own standard. After today, you can add Samsung to the list. Read More
The burning question on everyone's mind when Allo was released - "can you send SMS?" The answer, as seemingly common with Google products, is "it's complicated." Allo-w me to explain the answer, and more of Allo's quirky behavior, below.
What happens when I send a text to someone without Allo?
When you tap a contact that has not yet registered for Google Allo, you are presented with the above message warning that you are sending messages through SMS. When you send a message, the recipient receives the following text from a random five-digit number (at least in my tests):
[Your full name] ([Your phone number]) added you on Google Allo to chat.
... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.
Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image. On the one hand, this gives Allo the opportunity to start fresh without any unnecessary remnants that other apps and services carry because of their older origins and the room to learn from what has and hasn't worked for them, but on the other hand, it also puts Allo at the very bottom of a very steep hill. Read More
We've been expecting some changes to SMS functionality in Hangouts for some time, especially after Google started pushing Messenger as an SMS alternative inside Hangouts. As of Hangouts v11, it looks like the other shoe has dropped. This version of the app removes merged conversations as an option. Read More
Nearly three years after Hangouts combined instant messaging and SMS, Facebook Messenger is doing the same. It's Facebook official. Read More
It's time for text messaging to improve. Sending brief bursts of texts is fine, but appending an image turns a largely reliable form of communication into a coin toss. MMS, despite being available on traditional flip phones, is still a headache for many smartphone owners.
There's an effort to adopt a more modern standard known as Rich Communciation Services. Several months ago Google acquired Jibe, a company that prioritized implementing this technology on modern phones, and now the tech giant along with a bunch of carriers around the globe are announcing an initiative to accelerate adoption. Read More