It aims to solve Android’s messaging app woes
With Android being diverse, this can pose several problems for Google. Among these is with text messaging, where various brands use different types of messaging apps, causing further fragmentation with the Android ecosystem. Google wants to address this problem, which is why they are working on a streamlined version of the Android messaging app called Chat.
While it is not a new app per se, Chat aims to add extra features to the existing Android messages app. Among this include read receipts, typing indicators, full-resolution images and video, and group texts. In a nutshell, this new app Google is working on aims to work similar to Facebook’s Messenger app or Apple’s iMessage system.
As a result, this should help Google address its fragmented suite of messaging apps, which include Google Duo, Google Hangouts, and Google Allo—the latter being shelved for the meantime. “At the end of the day, the native SMS app is where users are. They’re not interested in going to a different place to use SMS,” Google Vice President Anil Sabharwal explained in an exclusive interview with The Verge.
Being a carrier-based service, Chat will work with every carrier but will not be encrypted like iMessage or WhatsApp. Google expects to roll out Chat within the year, and will be turned on by default for most users.