AT&T starts using Google’s Jibe platform for RCS messages

AT&T has supported RCS messaging on Android phones since 2021. But if you ask some of the carrier’s customers, the experience hasn’t always been great, with interoperability between different devices sometimes not working as expected. That’s about to change. Over the weekend, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of Android, tweeted (via Android Police) that AT&T is migrating its RCS backend to Google’s own Jibe platform. Per Lockheimer, the change means AT&T customers will get the latest RCS features “instantly.” It should also resolve any lingering interoperability issues between AT&T phones and devices on different networks.

Today I’m excited to share that we’re working with AT&T to accelerate adoption of the RCS standard, and that AT&T’s default Android messaging will now be via the Jibe platform, so their users will get the latest RCS features instantly.

— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) June 9, 2023

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have been committed to RCS since forming the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative in 2019, but it was only after announcing the end of that partnership in 2021, and Google becoming more directly involved with pushing the platform, that RCS began finding a foothold in the US. In 2021, T-Mobile became the first carrier to commit to preloading Google Messages on its Android devices. A year later, Verizon did the same.

At I/O 2023, Google announced that there are more than 800 million people using RCS globally, with that number expected to increase to 1 billion by the end of the year. Still, the platform faces a major hurdle. Apple has shown no signs it’s interested in supporting RCS, even if Google keeps bringing up the subject. Until something changes, that means RCS features like end-to-end encryption don’t work when Android users text friends and family members who use iPhones.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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