Google goes all Nikon on SMS

Written by Mark Evans

In the 1970s if you purchased high end photographic equipment you found yourself locked into a ‘system’ such as Nikon. Other equipment, such as lenses – had to fit, and so the next camera would need to be a Nikon, and he next flashgun and so on.

In the world of technology the main players want this grip on your data and devices too. Apple is the modern pioneer, but Google likes the same idea and hence the Google phone, Google+ (yes, whatever did happen to that?) Gmail, and now an SMS replacement that runs to a new Google standard.

Google has started to roll-out the service, with some extra bells and whistles that SMS can’t do, and of course will be a default on all such phones. Google has tried this before – a few times – and the company says it is "pausing" development of its current Allo service which was launched in 2016.

Whether the default option can work (as Bing has done to an extent by defaulting) or whether it will wither will depend on people swapping from Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp. Apple, of course, has its own thing in iMessage. In this instance Google is trying to tie the new messaging standard (called Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services (RCS) technically, or Chat to users) directly to the Android operating system, allowing external development to the service.

One potential major issue is that the system does not allow for encryption, so that could be an issue. Is it too late to the party or will people naturally adopt?