T-Mobile soups up text messaging, but for only one phone to start

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

T-Mobile looks to enhance basic texting forever with its new rich media standard.

While most of us use messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook and Apple’s Messages, the trusty SMS text is still a thing, and is in most cases still a viable and easy form of communication.T-Mobile announced a new “Advanced Messaging” feature on Wednesday that brings a lot of the functionality from apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp into your phone — natively. The idea is to overhaul the industry standard carriers use for delivering messages, to create one common platform that comes with all the features people expect from texting apps these days, including typing notifications, read receipts and file sharing.

Things like sharing larger media files, long send times and the lack of other amenities all plague the aging comms tech, but it looks like T-Mobile is ready to launch a new way to text that keeps much of ease and simplicity of SMS. T-Mobile’s new Rich Communications Services (RCS) brings much of what we have come to love about WhatsApp and Messages, but allows anyone to use it without the need to download or install any additional software. A T-Mobile spokeswoman tells me the company has already had conversations with AT&T and Verizon about launching the service for their customers, as well. Advance Messaging is only available on the new Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime for now, but it will come to the Galaxy S5 and S6 soon and will eventually become a standard feature, according to a T-Mobile news release.

This will come as welcome news for people — like myself — who have experienced the problems caused by so many messaging apps on siloed platforms that don’t work well together. It’s known as “iMessage Purgatory” — that imaginary place where your text messages may end up when you switch from iPhone to Android smartphones.

Nonetheless, users will get 10MB video and image attachments, message received notifications, group chats and more, once the update is fully rolled out. Apple sometimes keeps sending messages intended for former-iPhone users through its iMessage platform, which is a problem since there is no iMessage app for Android.

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