The adoption of RCS, the advanced text messaging service that has taken over Android, has moved rather quickly in recent years. Carriers were at one point hesitant (or slow) to deploy RCS in a universal way that worked between their customers and those on other networks, but Google has found a way to get them on board.
Today, Google announced that AT&T is taking another step in this universal direction by moving to their Jibe platform, which should further bring messaging through AT&T in line with industry standards.
Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer shared the news via Twitter today, saying that this move by AT&T to Jibe will allow their users to “get the latest RCS features instantly.” Beyond new features, it’s just straight-up good for the RCS industry.
Today I'm excited to share that we're working with AT&T to accelerate adoption of the RCS standard, and that AT&T's default Android messaging will now be via the Jibe platform, so their users will get the latest RCS features instantly.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) June 9, 2023
AT&T previously used their own RCS platform, as have most carriers at one point or another. Google’s Jibe was setup as an industry standard that all could use to get RCS inoperability to where it needs to be in order for advanced messaging on Android to excel. Because carriers initially refused Google’s RCS solution (they foolishly wanted to make their own), we had broken RCS experiences, especially from one carrier to another. The early days of RCS were an absolute mess, which Google tried to force fix when it basically said, “Yo carriers, we’re annoyed with you and are going to just do RCS on our own and give it to everyone without your help.”
Thankfully, almost everyone has joined hands and we’re getting better and better messaging on Android. Apple is still avoiding the conversation with Google about it, but carriers and all of the best Android phone makers have fully adopted the messaging tech. Should Apple ever decide to play nice, we could live in a world where the color of your bubble doesn’t matter, that you won’t feel ignored or bullied by or inferior to friends in group chats.
Anyways, that’s another conversation that will continue. Today’s news is about AT&T making moves that we love.