Verizon will make Google’s Messages the default messaging app on all Android devices it sells starting next year, the US wireless carrier announced on Tuesday, July 20.
With that move, Verizon would join peers AT&T and T-Mobile US in propping up competition to Apple’s iMessage service.
Google’s Messages comes with features similar to those in iMessage, using Rich Communication Services (RCS) technology to replace SMS-based texts.
Apple’s iMessage is limited to users who use the company’s devices, and the iPhone maker has not yet indicated any plans to extend the feature to Android users.
With RCS, users can send and receive high-quality photos and videos, chat over WiFi or cellular data and know when messages were read, among other features.
Earlier this year, AT&T and T-Mobile announced they would make Google’s messaging app as the default one on all their Android devices.
“Customers using Verizon’s Message+ app will also get full access to RCS capabilities by the end of the year,” Verizon said in a statement.
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