Now that the Galaxy S22 lineup is in the hands of reviewers, there is one thing that is common across the board, and it’s pretty exciting. For the first time, at least here in the U.S., Samsung has decided to use Google Messages as the default messaging and SMS app on its latest flagship devices (via 9to5Google). Previously, including phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, the default messaging client has been Samsung’s own Messages app.
But now that RCS messaging has grown to the point where it’s already being adopted by carriers, other phone makers, and Google is pushing it, Samsung opted to use Google’s app instead of its own. Why does this matter? Well for one, it goes to show that RCS via Google Messages has reached the point where Samsung doesn’t need to try and force users to use its own app.
As you no doubt have noticed recently, there’s been a bit of a “war” brewing between the green bubble and blue bubble users. Samsung integrating the Google Messages app means that you’ll enjoy Rich Communication Services, which includes support for things like typing indicators, read receipts, and even the ability to identify when an iPhone user has reacted to a message. Before then, Android phones have largely just relied on SMS and MMS which are both extremely outdated, and lack any of the flexibility offered by RCS or Apple’s iMessage platform.
There is still one hurdle to jump through, and it’s the biggest hurdle yet. If we, as consumers, truly want to have an equal playing field when it comes to messaging across devices, Apple needs to join the parade. As it stands, Apple’s iMessage platform does not support, nor rely on, RCS in order to provide all of the extra features enjoyed by iPhone users.
When you think about the fact that Samsung is the largest Android phone maker in the U.S., and it jumps aboard the RCS train, it will (hopefully) inevitably put a bit of pressure on Apple to properly support RCS. Even AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have jumped aboard the RCS train, making the Google Messages app the default client on their Android phones.
While Samsung Messages is still pre-installed as a secondary option behind Google Messages, you might want to stick with Google’s app anyways. One of the largest reasons is because Google and Samsung worked on some new updates to the Messages app that will be exclusive to the Galaxy S22. One of the biggest features is the addition of auto-generating previews of YouTube videos that are sent over RCS. You’ll be able to watch the video and control playback right from the Messages app, without being taken into the actual YouTube app. It’s just another example of what can happen when Samsung and Google work hand-in-hand on a project.