Google wishes SMS happy birthday and farewell, further backing RCS through Google Messages

It’s nearly 30 years since SMS was first introduced — Am I that old? — and Google has again upped the ante on messaging standards. In a blog post a short time ago, several key reasons to switch to RCS as a primary solution between platforms have been outlined.

The first is not a real surprise with security, or the lack of, on SMS being brought forward. The service is unencrypted and subject to interception of your message or potentially even storage by carriers. While in many cases, this may not alarm users, I have a question for you. Do you use SMS for two-factor authentication?

If the answer is yes, then you should consider other more secure authentication options. Options like a Yubikey for hardware authentication or an authenticator app.

The other highlighted reasons for using RCS both pertain to modern standards. If you’ve ever received a video message from someone that’s come over MMS, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The compression is horrendous and often, so is the resulting received files. Videos or photos that look like they’ve been taken with a potato and then played on a VGA screen. Simply put, RCS allows you to send and receive full-quality video and image files, sharing your content and experiences instantly with friends and loved ones.

The final highlight of the post is simply to show that Apple is the only major name in the communications and telco space yet to adopt the standard. Again asking the question, when will Apple get the message?

From a business perspective, Apple is entitled to do its own thing and keep customers inside its platform. But with the improved experience on third-party apps, my curiosity is whether this is keeping customers on board or encouraging them to explore options like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal as primary messaging solutions.