The next update to Android Messages may include a web client, Rich Communication Services (RCS) provided by Google, and support for business payments.
That’s what Android Police managed to dig-up in an APK teardown of Android Messages v2.9.
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Google’s other messaging platform, Allo, already has web support. Users sign in through a QR code and are able to connect their account to multiple browsers and computers – just like WhatsApp. We expect Android Messages to work in a similar fashion.
Even though all web browsers are mentioned in the APK, don’t expect full compatibility from the start. It took Google two months to add support for browsers other than Chrome to Allo.
Google wants its own iMessage
It’s no secret that Google wants to create a platform like iMessage for Android, but the past few years have seen poor implementation, support, and strategy on the messaging front.
That may be about to change, especially if Google is able to bypass carriers to make RCS work for all Android users.
Promotional text in the code suggests that Google will ask users to “text over Wi-Fi” instead of through SMS. Google may also provide the infrastructure where carriers fail to. In another line, it states: “chat features are powered by Google”.
Google launched the Jibe cloud platform last year as a way for carriers to implement RCS to scale easily, but Sprint is the only U.S. carrier to be fully supportive of the move. Google may look to side-step unwilling carriers by powering the infrastructure through its own cloud services.
RCS, for those unaware, is labeled as the next generation of SMS. It aims to make text messaging as feature rich as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Paying businesses through text
Messaging platforms are starting to support the ability to pay friends, but paying businesses is new. In the APK, it shows an order cart and summary but doesn’t say why you would pay for things through text.
Google may be looking to open up its messaging platform to bots and businesses, similar to Facebook Messenger. That may be the best way to integrate business payments and give users another reason to stick with Android Messages.
SOURCE: ANDROID POLICE – IMAGE: GOOGLE
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