Google’s SMS 2.0 is coming: how they work

Google has developed a new protocol that can turn old SMS into multimedia messages that can compete with WhatsApp. How they work

Welcome back SMS. Or at least this is the dream of Google that has launched a new communication protocol called Rich Communication Services (Rcs) that transforms old SMS into a modern communication method that can challenge WhatsApp and all other messaging applications. With SMS 2.0, users will be able to send multimedia content such as images, documents and videos.

Google has already introduced the new protocol in France and the UK, where phone companies support SMS 2.0. And it's about to do so in the rest of Europe as well, launching a new app called Chat. It is not the first time that Google tries to undermine the dominance of WhatsApp and Facebook in the world of instant messaging, but so far has never managed to win the trust of users. Now it's trying again by playing the SMS 2.0 card, in the hope that some nostalgic of the early 2000s will abandon WhatsApp to embrace Chat.

Chat, the Google app that challenges WhatsApp and iMessage

The Rich Communication Services protocol will take the name Chat on Android smartphones and will be an application that will allow you to send messages and multimedia content for free. Exactly like WhatsApp or iMessage, the messaging app on all iPhones. And, in fact, iMessage is the example from which Google developers have started to create Chat: the goal is to create a private environment where Android users can get in touch and talk to each other.

At the moment, however, SMS 2.0 have a big problem: they are not safe. Google, in fact, has not implemented end-to-end encryption, a security standard present on all messaging apps, even on WhatsApp. And right on this point the Mountain View company is investing time and money: the goal is to find a solution before the official launch on the Android store. Releasing a messaging application that does not have user privacy as one of its features could be an own goal and another failure for Google in the world of instant messaging.

Google wants to challenge WhatsApp

In the last five to ten years Google has established itself thanks to the dozens of services offered to its users: Gmail, Google Maps, just to give an example. One of the few areas in which it has failed to establish itself is that of instant messaging. Big G has tried in every way to convince users to use its applications (Hangouts, Duo), but without success.

Now it tries again trying the card of nostalgia: SMS 2.0 could be the winning solution to try to undermine the dominance of WhatsApp.