AT&T has supported RCS messaging on Android phones . But if you , the experience hasn’t always been great, with interoperability between different devices . That’s about to change. Over the weekend, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of Android, tweeted (via ) 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 , but it was only after announcing the , and Google becoming more directly involved with pushing the platform, that RCS began finding a foothold in the US. In 2021, became the first carrier to commit to preloading Google Messages on its Android devices. A year later, Verizon .
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 , even if Google keeps . 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.