The upgrade is called “Advanced Messaging”, and it rivals third-party messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Apple’s iMessage.
T-Mobile may be feeling the heat in the mobile messaging world, or perhaps it wants more people to move out of iOS, and switch to Android.
The U.S. carrier announced on Wednesday that it’s adding a slew of new features to the native SMS app with the Advanced Messaging — a service that will run on top of the text messages app pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime.
By the way, the Samsung phone’s name is real — and it’s already available on T-Mobile’s online store and retail outlets nationwide with price tag of $189.99 unlocked, or $7.92 per month for 2 years.
T-Mobile’s Advanced Messaging service won’t require any additional downloads or third-party apps. Long story short, it’s a bit similar to the iMessage on the iOS mobile ecosystem. It supports receipts (delivered, read), faster or real-time exchange of messages, and sending or receiving of larger files, photos or videos.
The Advanced Messaging is using the Rich Communications Service, or RCS standard. In other countries, RCS is branded as ‘joyn.’
Advanced Messaging can run after the first boot on the Galaxy Grand Prime, and T-Mobile said on Wednesday that two additional Samsung phones, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S5, will receive a software update to enable it.
Once enabled on the S6 and S5, owners of the two phones in the T-Mobile network can exchange messages with other owners of S5 and S6 and the Galaxy Grand Prime “in near real-time,” see receipts of the messages, and send and receive videos/photos up to 10 megabytes.
In a press release, T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray reveals that the Advanced Messaging is the carrier’s “next step” in the evolution of the data-centric IP technology, and expect more RCS-based services will arrive soon.
Mr. Ray said other networks “have made virtually zero advances” in the messaging world. However, he’s hopeful that this update will encourage rival networks to adopt RCS too.
After the S5 and the S6, Ray said “nearly a dozen more hot devices will come with Advanced Messaging this year alone.”
Credit: Featured image courtesy of T-Mobile USA.
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