Let’s face it, as fun as messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Hangouts are (okay, maybe not Hangouts), not everyone is using the same apps, if any at all. Because most of the developed world is still using standard SMS/MMS when it comes to messaging, if you’re looking to avoid making a call, you usually turn to sending a standard text message. The problem? SMS sucks. But T-Mobile is looking to change that.
Today, they’re announcing something they’re calling “Advanced Messaging.” Built on the Rich Communications Services (RCS) standard, T-Mobile’s Advanced Messaging gives users many of the benefits found in instant messaging services. Things like near real-time chat, delivery/read notifications, and file sharing. Here are some quick bullet points on features being introduced in Advanced Messaging:
- Rich 1 on 1 and group messaging, including near real-time chat
- See when others are typing, when your message is delivered and even read
- Share high-res photos and videos up to 10 MB just as you would a regular text message
- And T-Mobile Advanced Messaging is built to work across all devices, makers and operating systems—and wireless operators.
The best part? Because it’s using the RCS standard, it’s not exclusive to a single app or platform (Android vs iOS, for instance). Everyone get’s to enjoy it. Well, almost. For one, they’d have to be on T-Mobile although they suspect this will drive other “old” carriers to finally update their archaic messaging system to RCS in the near future. Also, you’ll need to have a compatible device, of which the sub $200 Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime is the first.
T-Mobile plans to bring the feature to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 next via a future software update. And while a dozen more devices will support T-Mobile Advanced Message this year alone, expect this to become a standard feature in all T-Mobile devices in the very near future. T-Mobile says Advanced Messaging is just one of a few new features we’re launching based on RCS, so we’re excited to see what they announce next.