DURBAN - Google is looking to improve the ways that people text on an Android phone to make it as good as other messaging apps.
The new technology is going to be called Chat and it is based on a standard called the "Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services".
Google is also pausing their work on another messaging app called Allo and is pushing all of their resources into developing Android messaging.
Chat will not be a new texting app but instead, it will have new features inside an existing app that people have already installed on their Android phones.
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Chat is the easier name that consumers can use instead of calling it Rich Communication Services. It is the new standard that is meant to replace SMS, and it will automatically be switched on inside Android Messages, the OS default app.
When people start using Chat they will get a number of features that are normal in any other texting app, including reading receipts, typing indicators, full resolution and video, and group texts.
Chat is a carrier-based service, not a service from Google, so it is just Chat not Google Chat. Google has also started development on the new standard so that every carrier's Chat services will be interoperable.
However, like SMS, Chat will not be end-to-end encrypted and it will follow the same legal intercept standards, which means that it won't be as safe as iMessage or Signal.