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US carriers kill Google's RCS messaging initiative

bsigg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,283
Google fucked this up by not making RCS a primary standard of Android. They should have implemented it and held their ground.

I don’t understand the “no one in the US uses WhatsApp” crowd. Lived in SF and live in NYC now. I do all communication, with all friends, over WhatsApp. It’s what everyone uses here.
Is it a central US thing to not use it?
Adoption of anything other than the stock messaging apps on phones in the US is incredibly small. Apple has created a lock in with iMessage in the US and majority of people using iPhones will stay with iPhones because they (only) know that everything on their current iPhone will transfer seamlessly to a new one.

I would say most Android users just go with whatever carrier messaging app is installed. There are obviously people who know or use other apps/services but most people just go with what's easiest.
 
Oct 27, 2017
271
San Francisco, Ca
That’s weird to me. In SF (and now in NYC) I play Sports using “ZogSports” pretty often, and in both cities WhatsApp was simply what teams used to communicate with each other. Everyone already had it, and it was super easy to find everyone on it. Really weird to hear of others in the same area not using it. It’s ubiquitous in my circles already.
 

MajesticSoup

Member
Feb 22, 2019
987
Nobody is arguing that SMS/MMS is better, we know it's not.

Here's how much of a hassle it would be to move my mother in law to WhatsApp (or another messaging service)

I'd have to convince her (easier said then done, she's stubborn as shit)*.

Then I'd have to convince my fiancee and my sister in law (again easier said then done)

Then I'd have to get my mother in law's friends to move over or they can't message with each other (which won't happen)

The headache this would cause just isn't worth it.

The alternative to all of that is to just stick with SMS/MMS and avoid the headache.

* This women refuses to accept change and will fiercely fight anything that takes her out of her comfort zone.
You say that but I guarantee your mother in law uses Facebook to message her friends. Old people love Facebook. And your fiancé and sister and law use Instagram to message friends.
And to make it easier WhatsApp doesn’t even require registering or any passwords.
 

DBT85

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,487
You guys had a reason to (most cellular plans charging for SMS/MMS at the time), we didn't since those features have been free for us for years.
I see this a lot but genuinely I can't remember how long its been since I had anything other than unlimited texts, or at the outside like 5000 a month.

Longer than I've been using the evil green anyway.
 
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emag

emag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,756
It'll be interesting to see how WhatsApp usage evolves as in-app advertising is introduced next year and grows from there. Facebook privacy scandals have had little negative impact on WhatsApp's growth, but end-users don't see the direct effects of those -- they will see ads, even if the first wave is rather limited.
 

oledome

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
linkboy you have the scenario really played out with your mother in law! She sounds stubborn, and I can imagine that it would be a hassle and also unnecessary since she's fine. It is all to do with what everyone is using though, technical hassle and the stubbornness of older people is not the reason, it's just not a solid argument. People are stubborn but the minute everyone around them moves on, they have to move on too.

As for no one saying SMS/MMS is adequate (I never said better) that's essentially what can be read with the "I have iMessage so it's all good" attitude. Meanwhile Android users like Royalan are considering switching mobile platforms for how messed up the texting situation in the US is.
 

linkboy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,166
You say that but I guarantee your mother in law uses Facebook to message her friends. Old people love Facebook. And your fiancé and sister and law use Instagram to message friends.
And to make it easier WhatsApp doesn’t even require registering or any passwords.
And you'd be 100% wrong.

This woman flat refuses to use Facebook, even if it would make her life easier. She's that stubborn
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,741
It'll be interesting to see how WhatsApp usage evolves as in-app advertising is introduced next year and grows from there. Facebook privacy scandals have had little negative impact on WhatsApp's growth, but end-users don't see the direct effects of those -- they will see ads, even if the first wave is rather limited.
Didn't know they were putting ads in, shit. Though I always did wonder how it made any money.
 

linkboy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,166
linkboy you have the scenario really played out with your mother in law! She sounds stubborn, and I can imagine that it would be a hassle and also unnecessary since she's fine. It is all to do with what everyone is using though, technical hassle and the stubbornness of older people is not the reason, it's just not a solid argument. People are stubborn but the minute everyone around them moves on, they have to move on too.
You're right that people will move if forced to, the issue is getting them to move.

Once this lady gets stuck in her ways, nothing short of Jesus Christ could get her to change her mind.

I'm working with someone who doesn't believe depression exists. That should tell you the level of stubbornness I'm dealing with.
 
Oct 27, 2017
209
Just don't message anyone, problem solved.

This is inevitable though. Every tech firm, carrier, hardware manufacturer, etc. wants their own piece of the pie.
 

Royalan

Yeah I'm in my bag, but I'm in his too.
Member
Oct 24, 2017
3,901
linkboy you have the scenario really played out with your mother in law! She sounds stubborn, and I can imagine that it would be a hassle and also unnecessary since she's fine. It is all to do with what everyone is using though, technical hassle and the stubbornness of older people is not the reason, it's just not a solid argument. People are stubborn but the minute everyone around them moves on, they have to move on too.

As for no one saying SMS/MMS is adequate (I never said better) that's essentially what can be read with the "I have iMessage so it's all good" attitude. Meanwhile Android users like Royalan are considering switching mobile platforms for how messed up the texting situation in the US is.
The line that I put in bold is the problem with your position here. You're expecting a "sea change" movement in a hyper diverse country of over 300 million, while completely underestimating what it would take to actually make that happen.

Again, if the solution to the US' texting clusterfuck was as simple as "well, why don't we all just move to this [predetermined app]?" then it wouldn't be a problem because we'd all have already done it. Nobody is sticking with SMS/MMS because it's better or even preferred. You have to examine the forces that are keeping people exactly where they are.

Google was on the right track when they tried to incentivize carriers into implementing RCS on their networks last year. Where they, once again, fucked up is in thinking that carriers would just go along with this without needing to be strong-armed. Carriers are stupid, and when they're not being stupid they're incredibly profit based. Google is simply not going to be able to make a unified RCS platform happen on its OS without throwing it's weight around. "We're Google. Android is our platform. We're doing this. We don't care what you think. Tough shit. Where are you going to go? Windows Phone? LOL"
 

Podge293

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,723
WhatsApp is for poor people who can’t afford iPhones. Thankfully 99% of people who are worth messaging here in New Zealand have iPhones, because Lorde knows I won’t waste my time on some dodgy third party app like WhatsApp or Messenger.
My phone cost more than an iPhone. I use whatsapp.

How is whatsapp dodgy exactly?
 

konka

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,521
I can't imagine not having iMessage. Being able to use it on my Mac/iPhone/iPad seamlessly is unbeatable and a key reason I'll never go to android. I used Whatsapp when abroad and it's but it's nowhere near as elegant or intuitive as Apple's solution.
 

oledome

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
Royalan I'm not expecting a sea change, as far as I can see the mess will continue for a long time with the real solution being to get an iPhone; which makes the whole thing worse in a way. I think that SMS/MMS functions just about enough to where the inertia means there isn't a massive shift. That said at least anecdotally from the thread we have people from parts of the US saying those around them and themselves are on the platform, we have a reluctant iPhone user on the platform because of their friends on Android.

Do you really only have 2 out of hundreds of contacts on WhatsApp? If you started a new convo, the list would have 2 people in it??? I don't want to sound like a WhatsApp shill either, I know they're owned by Facebook and would like a viable alternative, but it goes back to the issue of what everyone is using and how hard it would be to have everyone change - it would be even harder when WhatsApp functions as highly as the rest of them.

I agree that Google have cocked the whole thing up time and again, I don't know what they can do at this point, they still need carriers to play ball for this, it's not like when they forced their proprietary Allo or whatever onto Android.
 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,666
So wait, someone said Google is dropping Hangouts? Why? I've used it on Android/gmail for years just fine :(
 

thisismadness

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,186
As for no one saying SMS/MMS is adequate (I never said better) that's essentially what can be read with the "I have iMessage so it's all good" attitude. Meanwhile Android users like Royalan are considering switching mobile platforms for how messed up the texting situation in the US is.
Adequacy is subjective. In fact, the problem is exactly that large portions of the US are ok just using SMS/MMS. If they weren't, then we'd likely see much higher penetration of third party messaging apps.

For those of us that do care, you just have to decide with the people you communicate with most. If they also care about more robust messaging features, then it should be easy to convince them to make the switch.
 
Secret workaround New
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emag

emag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,756
Holy shit. There's a workaround that was discovered a few hours ago that bypasses the carriers and allows for all Android devices to use RCS with Google's Messages.


This is a non-advertised Google server, so it may be pulled/blocked at any time (or, conversely, fully enabled at any time), but right now you can say fuck the carriers and go with Google's solution.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,665
Sweden
Holy shit. There's a workaround that was discovered a few hours ago that bypasses the carriers and allows for all Android devices to use RCS with Google's Messages.


This is a non-advertised Google server, so it may be pulled/blocked at any time (or, conversely, fully enabled at any time), but right now you can say fuck the carriers and go with Google's solution.
This seems like something Google will block to preserve carrier relations. Which would be a shame, since Google Messages is a nice app.
 

oledome

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
Adequacy is subjective. In fact, the problem is exactly that large portions of the US are ok just using SMS/MMS. If they weren't, then we'd likely see much higher penetration of third party messaging apps.

For those of us that do care, you just have to decide with the people you communicate with most. If they also care about more robust messaging features, then it should be easy to convince them to make the switch.
Yeah that's kind of what I was getting at with my last post, SMS/MMS is not good at all but it's just about functional enough to where the inertia stops a large shift, I guess in that way it's adequate, just not for me and many others, I'm assuming yourself included?

As to your point about what others around you are doing we have examples in the thread where that's exactly what has happened. It's not a switch however, both can exist on the phone at the same time.
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,301
az
I'm not seeing a great deal of disagreement over the reasons for adoption.

What's frustrating to me is people making an argument for SMS/MMS being adequate, when it isn't. It's fine to make that claim when you're on iOS but there are a wealth of features in modern messaging protocols that SMS and MMS doesn't come close to covering. An iMessage user would not be happy going from that protocol to one without:

- high res images
- location pins
- live location
- stickers
- proper group messaging
- read and delivery receipts (delivery is on SMS depending on carrier)
- voice notes
- video and voice calls
- status updates
- profile images set in the client
- forwarding
- native backup
- end to end encryption
- privacy settings

Really it's down to Android users in the US, clearly that's what happened from some of the replies, WhatsApp is on their iPhone for Android users who expect more.
It is adequate. I can send and recieve high res images. I can also have group conversations. Most of your list I wouldnt consider importand features.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,406
It is adequate. I can send and recieve high res images. I can also have group conversations. Most of your list I wouldnt consider importand features.
Group messaging on SMS sucks. You can’t leave the group. You can’t have controls that are based on the group, like silencing the group. Contacts are just a bunch of numbers unless you have them saved in the group.
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,301
az
Group messaging on SMS sucks. You can’t leave the group. You can’t have controls that are based on the group, like silencing the group. Contacts are just a bunch of numbers unless you have them saved in the group.
I only have a group text conversation maybe once a month at the most. If I am, those people are usually contacts in my phone, so theyre not just numbers. I have no reason to silence or leave, otherwise why would I be in the group chat.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,306
New Orleans
Holy shit. There's a workaround that was discovered a few hours ago that bypasses the carriers and allows for all Android devices to use RCS with Google's Messages.


This is a non-advertised Google server, so it may be pulled/blocked at any time (or, conversely, fully enabled at any time), but right now you can say fuck the carriers and go with Google's solution.
It looks like it's a new development only available in the beta version. I wonder if CCMI is a response to Google bypassing more and more carriers with RCS, or if this development is a response to CCMI.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,406
I only have a group text conversation maybe once a month at the most. If I am, those people are usually contacts in my phone, so theyre not just numbers. I have no reason to silence or leave, otherwise why would I be in the group chat.
That is common when you are in many group chats and in large ones that are busy but not always relevant to you.

And what kind of argument is “I have no reason to leave a group chats? You can’t imagine a scenario where you decide you no longer wish to be a part of a group chat and want to leave it and no longer receive messages of that group chat?
 

turbobrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,301
az
That is common when you are in many group chats and in large ones that are busy but not always relevant to you.

And what kind of argument is “I have no reason to leave a group chats? You can’t imagine a scenario where you decide you no longer wish to be a part of a group chat and want to leave it and no longer receive messages of that group chat?
I can imagine it for other people, its just not a concern for me. I dont think Ive had more than 1 group chat going at once, and most only last a day or 2.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,406
I can imagine it for other people, its just not a concern for me. I dont think Ive had more than 1 group chat going at once, and most only last a day or 2.
Okay, but clearly should should be able to see the general importance of this. Even if it isn’t something you need to do as of right now, it should be pretty clear that it’s valuable to be able to leave a group chat even for you.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,652
I can't imagine not having iMessage. Being able to use it on my Mac/iPhone/iPad seamlessly is unbeatable and a key reason I'll never go to android. I used Whatsapp when abroad and it's but it's nowhere near as elegant or intuitive as Apple's solution.
Lol @ What’s App not being intuitive. It’s really straight forward.
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,745
Lol @ What’s App not being intuitive. It’s really straight forward.
It's still not as elegant as iMessage though. The one thing that kills all these other apps is it doesn't fall back on SMS/MMS. That fact alone makes iMessage better from an iOS user's perspective. There's no need to think or wonder who is using what; it just works and it figures out how to contact the person in the background.
 

SMD

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
4,268
It's still not as elegant as iMessage though. The one thing that kills all these other apps is it doesn't fall back on SMS/MMS. That fact alone makes iMessage better from an iOS user's perspective. There's no need to think or wonder who is using what; it just works and it figures out how to contact the person in the background.
No one wants it to fall back on SMS, that's the entire point.
 

Axelotl

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,474
Hamm, Germany
It's still not as elegant as iMessage though. The one thing that kills all these other apps is it doesn't fall back on SMS/MMS. That fact alone makes iMessage better from an iOS user's perspective. There's no need to think or wonder who is using what; it just works and it figures out how to contact the person in the background.
No one I know want to fall back on SMS. When the coverage is so bad that WhatsApp messages aren’t coming through sms are failing too. At least where I had coverage problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,665
Sweden
It's still not as elegant as iMessage though. The one thing that kills all these other apps is it doesn't fall back on SMS/MMS. That fact alone makes iMessage better from an iOS user's perspective. There's no need to think or wonder who is using what; it just works and it figures out how to contact the person in the background.
The brief time I used Android, the SMS integration in FB Messenger worked similar to iMessage in that, you message people and it will try the Messenger way or go SMS if the people aren’t on Facebook.

I still vastly prefer iMessage since it’s cleaner, there are no ads and you’re not giving your data to Facebook.
 

SMD

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
4,268
You’d rather your message not go through at all if you don’t have data then to get sent as an SMS? That’s bizarre.
Once again, there are a million reasons why SMS sucks and you'd want to stick to messaging. Not least because if you're sending to a group, particularly with international numbers, you don't want the phone to go ahead and switch to SMS just because there was a data burp.

Plus loads of times I've seen people send a message on iMessage only for it to fail and the SMS also fail without notifying them.

Just wait for the second tick, it's not that big a deal.

This thread is just weird as a non American, you guys have the most bizarre attitudes regardless of the reasons why you got here.

Good luck with messaging non iPhones I guess.
 

hateradio

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,829
welcome, nowhere
Salt in the wound: Apple tried to offer iMessage to carriers for android. They declined.
What does that mean exactly? If Apple released iMessage on Android without SMS/MMS fallback that would be alright with me. I currently have that disabled on my iPhone. If your messages are that important, I'll see them when I get to it.


I live in the Silicon Valley and I don't know anyone who uses it. I even tried at one point and it was an annoying result. It's not something just in the fly over states.
You probably don't work with people who just recently moved to the US then?

If you ever signed into it and looked at your contacts, I bet you'd find a lot of people on there.

I used to use it a lot because I do consider E2E encryption a bare minimum in my comms, but I know other people don't care. #thanksamerica

So wait, someone said Google is dropping Hangouts? Why? I've used it on Android/gmail for years just fine :(
Yeah, they are killing hangouts and going to release "Hangouts Chat" (their enterprise thing) to the masses.
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,745
No one wants it to fall back on SMS, that's the entire point.
No one I know want to fall back on SMS. When the coverage is so bad that WhatsApp messages aren’t coming through sms are failing too. At least where I had coverage problem.
But people do and that's one of the reasons people love iMessage so much. You guys are missing one of the best features and one of the shortcomings without understanding how things are elsewhere. It's amazing how you can't grasp it. Let me lay it out in a simple way.

With Whatsapp, you need to know if the person has Whatsapp or not when trying to contact them. With iMessage you don't need to know if they have iMessage for it to work. iMessage just works and figures out the right protocol to send the message to in the background. If the person has iMesssage, it sends it that way, if they don't because they're on Android, it sends an SMS instead. It's completely seamless and the person just sends a message to their contact without having to think about it. Whatsapp doesn't do that in the case where someone doesn't have Whatsapp. That's the barrier and how it's less elegant. You can like Whatsapp all you want but there's no denying that iMessage is much more elegant and seamless with trying to send someone a message.
 

Royalan

Yeah I'm in my bag, but I'm in his too.
Member
Oct 24, 2017
3,901
The brief time I used Android, the SMS integration in FB Messenger worked similar to iMessage in that, you message people and it will try the Messenger way or go SMS if the people aren’t on Facebook.

I still vastly prefer iMessage since there are no ads and you’re not giving your data to Facebook.
Exactly.

Facebook Messenger is proof that Google's deficiencies have less to do with "We can't piss off the carriers!" and more to do with "We don't want to rock the boat with carriers."

Facebook Messenger works EXACTLY like iMessage does, including falling back to SMS within the same app. This is the main reason Facebook Messenger has been more successful than ANY Google text venture. It took a system most people in the US already had and integrated rich texting features on top of it.

It's just so frustrating. Google had the app in place with Allo. Allo was a great messaging app. But Google refusing to integrate Allo with SMS doomed it right out the gate.

With Whatsapp, you need to know if the person has Whatsapp or not when trying to contact them. With iMessage you don't need to know if they have iMessage for it to work. iMessage just works and figures out the right protocol to send the message to in the background. If the person has iMesssage, it sends it that way, if they don't because they're on Android, it sends an SMS instead. It's completely seamless and the person just sends a message to their contact without having to think about it. Whatsapp doesn't do that in the case where someone doesn't have Whatsapp. That's the barrier and how it's less elegant. You can like Whatsapp all you want but there's no denying that iMessage is much more elegant and seamless with trying to send someone a message.
Exactly.
 

Irminsul

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,329
I mean, you can use Signal as your standard SMS app on Android and it will send either a Signal message or a SMS to a contact, depending on whether said contact has Signal installed. It's not like this is some amazing feature only Apple have thought about.
 

JealousKenny

Member
Jul 17, 2018
1,212
You say that but I guarantee your mother in law uses Facebook to message her friends. Old people love Facebook. And your fiancé and sister and law use Instagram to message friends.
And to make it easier WhatsApp doesn’t even require registering or any passwords.
Facebook is a unique program that there really isn't a replacement for readily installed on the phone. And older people don't use Facebook messenger, they post directly to someone's time-line.

Instagram is a unique program that there really isn't a replacement for readily installed on the phone.

Everyone's phone already has a messaging app installed to it. A messaging app that works with everyone. People don't want to switch between different messaging apps to text people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,665
Sweden
I mean, you can use Signal as your standard SMS app on Android and it will send either a Signal message or a SMS to a contact, depending on whether said contact has Signal installed. It's not like this is some amazing feature only Apple have thought about.
No, but if you live in a country that has a lot of iPhones, the feature carries a lot more value to it.

Here in Sweden, like 75% of my social sphere (and 100% of my company due to policy) use iPhones. This makes iMessage the clear choice.

I don’t know anyone using Signal.
 

Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,741
It's still not as elegant as iMessage though. The one thing that kills all these other apps is it doesn't fall back on SMS/MMS. That fact alone makes iMessage better from an iOS user's perspective. There's no need to think or wonder who is using what; it just works and it figures out how to contact the person in the background.
That's because Apple won't let any other app send SMS. It's monopoly bullshit and honestly there should be lawsuits over it.
 

MajesticSoup

Member
Feb 22, 2019
987
Facebook is a unique program that there really isn't a replacement for readily installed on the phone. And older people don't use Facebook messenger, they post directly to someone's time-line.

Instagram is a unique program that there really isn't a replacement for readily installed on the phone.

Everyone's phone already has a messaging app installed to it. A messaging app that works with everyone. People don't want to switch between different messaging apps to text people.
Except they do. Americans may not be using WhatsApp, but group chat apps are popular. How many fantasy football leagues communicate via sms/mms groups? That’s just a headache.