All four major U.S. carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint — have each issued the same press release announcing that they are forming "a joint venture" called the "Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative" (CCMI). It is designed to ensure that they move forward together to replace SMS with a next-generation messaging standard — including a promise to launch a new texting app for Android phones that supports it in 2020. Dieter Bohn writes via The Verge: First and foremost, CCMI intends to ship a new Android app next year that will likely be the new default messaging app for Android phones sold by those carriers. It will support all the usual RCS features like typing indicators, higher-resolution attachments, and better group chat. It should also be compatible with the global "Universal Profile" standard for RCS that has been adopted by other carriers around the world. Doug Garland, general manager for the CCMI, says that the CCMI will also work with other companies interested in RCS to make sure their clients are interoperable as well — notably Samsung and Google. That should mean that people who prefer Android Messages will be able to use that instead, but it sounds like there may be technical details to work out to make that happen.
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