Verizon Communications will make Google’s Messages the default messaging app on all Android devices it sells from next year, US wireless carrier said on Tuesday.
With that move, Verizon will join peers AT&T and T-Mobile US in boosting competition for Apple’s iMessage service.
Messages from Google, owned by Alphabet, comes with iMessage-like features, using Rich Communication Services (RCS) technology to replace SMS-based text.
Apple’s iMessage is limited to users who use the company’s devices, and the iPhone maker has not yet indicated any plans to expand the feature to Android users.
With RCS, users can send and receive high-quality photos and videos, chat over WiFi or cellular data, and know when a message was read, among other features.
Earlier this year, AT&T and T-Mobile announced that they would make Google’s messaging app the default on all of their Android devices.
“Customers using Verizon’s Messages+ app will also have full access to RCS capabilities by the end of the year,” Verizon said in a statement.
© Thomson Reuters 2021