Further complicating its messaging services and offerings, Google today announced that it is renaming its Messenger app to Android Messages.
The company has been working with carriers and OEMs to roll out RCS (Rich Communication Services) support to further enhance the traditional SMS experience. It has already announced a partnership with Sprint, Rogers, and Telenor, and today announced support for the feature by Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe.
RCS offers an enhanced SMS experience by adding features like group chat, high-resolution image sharing, read receipts, emoji support, and more. By default, Android Messenger — formerly Google Messenger — comes pre-bundled as the default SMS app on Android devices from most OEMs out there. So, by upgrading the app to support RCS and by working with operators behind the scene, Google is trying to roll out RCS messaging as seamlessly as possible.
Despite all the technical mumbo jumbo above, it makes very little sense for Google to rename Google Messenger to Android Messages out of the blue. It is likely that the company had to rename the app to avoid confusion with Facebook’s Messenger app. Perhaps, the company realised Google Messenger/Android Messages has a better chance of being more successful than Allo and decided to focus more on it and went ahead with the rebranding.
The update to the Google Messenger app that renames it to Android Messages is already live on the Play Store.
Download: Android Messages