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T-Mobile Brings Android SMS Capabilities on Par with iMessage via Advanced Messaging

July 28, 2015

Wireless network operator T-Mobile has brought the first major improvement to text messaging in quite some time with the launch of Advanced Messaging. This new service utilizes the Rich Communications Services (RCS) standard to enable richer features that extend beyond traditional SMS.

Users of Advanced Messaging can enjoy an experience similar to familiar third-party messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp—as well as Apple’s native iMessage platform—straight through a native Android text messaging application. Chats are now carried out in almost real-time and include a presence feature, so users can see when others are typing, in addition to message delivery and read receipts. Furthermore, it is now possible to share pictures, videos and other multimedia items without having to rely on finicky MMS technology with its unreliability and longer delivery times.

T-Mobile is currently only testing the service on a single device—the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime—which was introduced simultaneously with the launch of Advanced Messaging. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S6 will reportedly be the next devices to benefit from this feature, with as many as twelve more following within the next year.

Image via Shutterstock

Smartphone users currently have access to a substantial range of messaging services that include all of the aforementioned features and many more, but with Advanced Messaging T-Mobile has made this possible on all Android devices and eliminated the need for downloading an extra app. Furthermore, the company hopes its efforts will spearhead a larger movement to improve SMS across the board and encourage more seamless interaction between different messaging platforms.

In a blog post regarding the service’s launch, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote that he expects the company’s announcement “will be a wake-up call for the old carriers to get moving with RCS, so customers can enjoy these next-gen services working across wireless providers.”

Calling for an overhaul of the industry standard for something as widely used as SMS is a big deal and will surely take some time, but the benefits for consumers are quite apparent. Non-iMessage users can now relish the possibility that one day they too will enjoy the seamless, near-instant chat experience that carriers are long overdue in providing.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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