It seems like Google is not at all happy with their existing communication apps, as the giant is reportedly preparing a whole new messaging app called "Chat" for the mobile users. The two-year-old chat platform was intended as a replacement for Hangouts for personal users, but most have either stuck with Hangouts, or migrated to Whatsapp, Telegram and other more popular services.
Chat for Android is expected to launch "within the next 6-12 months". For many years, Android fans have been calling for a proper iMessage counterpart, which despite supporting various messaging features, has the capability to fall back on SMS when the sender or receiver is disconnected from the internet.
In terms of local carrier adoption, Optus told Ausdroid that are "investigating the development of Rich Communication Services". This technology eventually help them out to improve the way how the mobile users are communicating with each other. And now, the company has chose to go all in on RCS with the introduction of "Chat".
The standard is known as the Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services (RCS) - but it will be given the more consumer-friendly name of Chat when it is rolled out to Android devices.
RCS requires carrier and handset implementation to work, though it can use SMS as a fallback, if needed.
Whether Apple is willing to jump on to the Chat bandwagon is something that remains to be seen. Google has long worked to get their Android partners and telecommunication carriers to support RCS by including support for RCS in Android Messages, offering the Jibe RCS Cloud Platform, and pushing to standardize the Universal Profile.
Meanwhile, Anil Sabharwal, who led the team that developed Google Photos, will be spearheading the effort.
That's particularly true for "end-to-end" encryption, where the two devices communicating are not a user and a company (who may be compelled to turn over the information once it has been decrypted), but two individual users.
As mentioned in the below video, "Chat" is different from competitors like Apple's iMessage in the fact that the data is not encrypted. At least initially, Chat will only work through Google Messenger. The company recently introduced a new video messaging feature for "Duo" that would let users capture and share video messages when their friends can not answer their call. Google say they've already gotten 55 carriers and 11 OEMS on-side as well as Microsoft, a detail that could suggest the RCS might soon come to Windows 10.
As for when that happens, Google is expecting that many carriers will follow through this year (2018), but admits that some might dawdle.