Google announcing an expanded partnership on Wednesday with Samsung to add Rich Communication Services to more devices. RCS allows for enhanced messaging features than is available in SMS texts, like high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts, and group chats. Google hopes RCS can help Android compete better with Apple’s iMessage and with increasingly popular messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApps.
Google has been trying for a long time to get RCS adopted by phone manufacturers and carrier: it needs both groups to adopt the technology on each of its devices. The biggest hurdle is getting Verizon on board: the no. 1 cellular carrier remains a hold out.