Google really had a very long journey while trying to build the new messaging platform for Android. Beginning with Google Chat in 2005, the company at that time had various app-launches and failure as well over the years. These failures include Google Voice, Huddle, Hangouts, Google Messenger and eventually Google Alloo in 2016. However nothing out of these have managed to sustain in the market the way Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger did. We can see that both of these apps boast over the billion users.
So it seems like Google is finally trying hard to build its own customer messaging platform with attention on developing the messaging protocol that may be used and adapted by different carriers, involving its own Android messages.
According to one of the reports published recently. Google has confirmed that it was putting a pause to the investment on Allo, choosing rather than paying attention on the development of the new service named Chat. As per Anil Sabharwal’s (Vice President of Communication) statement chat will be a developed version of the Android messages that will be built on the rich communication of the MMS and SMS legacy services, permitting for improved messaging capabilities over the text services. Through the use of RCS, the users will be able to send messages via data plans like other popular instant messaging services, and this will obviously allow the standardized texting around different Android carriers and devices.
The president also confirmed that he’ll be moving the complete team of Allo into the Android messages as Google work towards the launch of the chat. The operators and carriers have remained slow to adopt RCS in the past, but according to Google it has brought 55 operators across the globe on board already together with 11OEMS (Original Equipment Manufacturers) - Asus, Alcatel, HTC, General Mobile, Lenovo, LG, ZTE, Intex and the biggest one i.e. Samsung. In fact the Microsoft has agreed to accept the RCS standard, even when you see that there is no word of a native RCS supporting the chat application on Microsoft so far.
The shift of attention to the RCS is a major departure from Google’s earlier efforts in the Chat Space. However the Allo’s failure to take off seem to have completely convince the tech giant that it is the time for a change of the speed. According to Anil “the product as a whole has somehow not achieved the level of traction that we hoped for actually. We may set out to build this thing up. This may be a product getting hundred or millions of people to get excited about things and use them, and where we are actually? We are actually not feeling that we are on that desired route”
According to the Verge, chat will permit the partner carriers as well as the OEMs to build their own versions of RCS supporting applications rather than pushing them to adopt a single application, like Apple’s iMessage and all. Anil has finally stated that “We cannot do without these (OEM and Carrier) partners. We literally do not believe in taking the approach that Apple already does, We are an open ecosystem fundamentally. We actually believe in working with the partners. We believe in working with our OEMs to be capable and deliver a great experience”.
So the question is if Chat will succeed where Google’s myriad app experiments have failed somehow? Anil obviously believes that Google’s altered approach to the text messaging on Android will come up with perfect results.
By the end of this year, he suspect that we’ll be in a very great state and by the mid of the next year, we are supposed to be in a place where a huge percentage of the users will have this wonderful experience. This is obviously not a three-to-five year play. Our aim is to get this level of the quality messaging to our users on Android within coming couple of years.”