SMS and MMS are communication systems that are becoming more obsolete every day, since most people use third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal. But the truth is that it is not necessary to use these applications to send instant messages, since we have the RCS. We tell you what they are.
We are all clear that SMS and MMS are quite residual for certain merely informative communications, rather than as a communication system between users.
So that we can communicate with others, do we only have third-party apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram available to us? Well, the truth is that no, since we could also use RCS messaging.
RCS (Rich Communication Services) It is a type of messaging, quite unknown to the general public and that we can consider as the natural evolution of traditional SMS and MMS. It is a protocol that is present in most Android mobile terminals today.
We are going to know better what we are talking about to have all the information.
Table of Contents:
What is RCS messaging?
We talk about a protocol created in 2007 which was designed to enhance the messaging functionality that is already installed on any modern phone. That is to say, we are before the SMS and MMS evolved to expand its features.
The first thing we need to know is that the RCS significantly expanded all character and image quality limits that existed until then, since they allowed and allow us to share all kinds of video clips, any type of information that we need and even the location if necessary.
The big difference between RCS and any of the messaging services we use, such as WhatsApp, is that we are talking about a protocol and not from an application. This means that you do not have to register at any time and that you can send messages to whoever you want, not just those who have a specific app.
We just have to have a compatible smartphone and an operator that supports RCS, just that. In some regions it has been called something else like RCS Chat, Joyn, SMS+ or Advanced Messaging, but all of them are RCS, which, as we have already told you, stands for Rich Communications Services.
The main functions
The RCS has several functions that define it very well and that can make it possible to understand how far this protocol could go if it were a system that users used often.
Essentially this can be done with RCS:
- Share images, GIFs, video and other rich media content.
- calls IP voice, both individual and group.
- chat Groups.
- encryption client to server with optional end-to-end encryption.
- Transfers of files of all kinds in group stays.
- Exchange of geolocation with whoever we want.
- receipts of delivery and reading in the style of many messaging apps.
- Posts of businesses and services of the same type that are received by SMS.
- Messaging type SMS/MMS.
How can I know if my phone is compatible?
The truth is that we must take into account two aspects such as that our operator is compatible and that we have an RCS client on our mobile.
We will not suffer the problem that could arise with the operators in Spain, since all those that provide coverage have it established since March 202. This it means that so much Telefónica, such as Orange, Vodafone and MásMóvilthey already support this type of messaging and everything that we obtain with it.
On the other hand, there remains the issue of our own smartphone, something that has also been solved, since the application Google Messageswhich is available in the Google Play Store in case you don’t have it (something rare in an Android terminal), is an RCS client.
If you have a Samsung mobile, you should know that Samsung Messages It is also an RCS client so it will work perfectly for you. Of course, if you have a iPhone you should know that there is no support for this technology, since Apple’s work with its proprietary iMessage service.
Differences between RCS and WhatsApp
In what each one of them is already resides the main differencesince while WhatsApp requires a connection to work through its own servers, RCS is an advanced messaging protocol that uses Android terminals as a system to work.
The encryption is another part where they are different, since RCS messages are encrypted in transit and not end-to-end as they are in WhatsApp. This means that the operator or Google itself could read the messages we send, while, in theory, those of the company owned by Facebook can only be read by the sender and receiver.
If we compare the functions the truth is that there is many similarities between both systems, since both support read receipts, group chats, and a wide range of multimedia options. In this sense, the main difference is that video calls are not natively present in RCS.
Why is RCS unsuccessful?
The normal thing would have been for RCS to have had the same success that SMS had at the time, but this has not been the case. There are several reasons why this does not happen.
The first is that it may have arrived too late and the compatibility standards it would have needed were not met. This means that despite the fact that this system was created before WhatsApp, the truth is that the different operators did not agree to become compatible and that was too big a handicap. When this was fixed, WhatsApp was already the absolute king.
It may happen that in the same country all the operators have RCS, but if we send a message outside they do not receive it due to lack of compatibility, something that does not happen with WhatsApp or Telegram, since you send where you send, everyone can receive it. That is why RCS messaging has not just made the big leap either.
It is also true that user tastes have changed and possibly the design that RCS clients had until recently. they were too simple if we compare them with the main messaging apps that prevail in the Android world.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism