Google’s Messages platform just got a big boost from T-Mobile, with the carrier announcing on Monday that the RCS app will come standard on all current and future Android phones it sells. That’s a significant step forward for what’s been a long and sometimes tricky quest on Google’s part to make Rich Communication Services ubiquitous across the Android ecosystem.
T-Mobile was an early adopter of the protocol back in 2015. By mid-way last year, it also became one of the first carriers to implement a full standards-based interconnect with Messages. That meant T-Mobile subscribers could take advantage of all the protocol’s headline features — including typing indicators and read receipts — when messaging people outside of the US. According to the carrier, it will complete this latest switchover by the end of the year.
Google also shared an update on its work to add support for end-to-end encryption in Messages. The company says the beta rollout of the feature will continue throughout 2021. End-to-end encryption over RCS is currently only available through the Messages app, not other RCS-compatible software.
Messages isn’t the only Google product getting a boost from T-Mobile. As part of their new partnership, the carrier will also start promoting Google’s Pixel phones, as well as dropping its own TV service in favor of YouTube TV.