Not to be confused with Google Chat, which was discontinued a couple of years ago in favour of turning Hangouts into a unified messaging app, a course since completely reversed

Oh hang on, Google Chat actually hasn't been a name they've used yet, I was thinking Google Talk

Google used "Google Chat" already...

"Google Chat, the simple Google Talk chat experience in Gmail, launched in 2005. In 2013, we began replacing Google Chat with Hangouts, while still giving users the option to continue using Google Chat."

So Google Chat was also Google Talk which is now Hangouts (originally Google+ only), but now retargeted for "enterprise" use while Allo (& Duo) are for personal use but now "on pause" for developing a new Google Chat, which is RCS (but not versioning) but also known as Google Jibe which is basically SMS 3.0, & is in Android Messages (but not the old AOSP based Messages, which was discontinued, but a new one), which is the SMS client… which might be Google Chat?

Give me proper s2s !XMPP or find yourself in another abandoned silo 3 years from now... #GoogleFree

@bobjonkman SMS isn't a silo and it's lasted a lot longer than 3 years. Google's only involvement is getting carriers to adopt 1 standard for RCS instead of building 55 different ones; it's just "Chat", not "Google Chat".

@trwnh @bobjonkman

When I started reading it didn't sound bad until I reached this point:

"Unlike many of the best messaging services, RCS, and by extension Google’s Chat, is not and will not be encrypted. Despite being sent over the internet, it will be carried by mobile phone operators and therefore subject to all the traditional communications regulations of search and surveillance."

End-To-End encryption is a must have for any serious general purpose chat system in 2018, IMHO.

@bjoern @bobjonkman Yeah, it's about as secure as SMS (which is to say, not at all). Not meant as a standalone chat service, but as an improved baseline. I'm not entirely sure how possible or easy it would be to bundle end-to-end encryption on top of RCS -- the UP2 spec already requires TLS and IPSec, so it could be possible to extend the spec to allow end-to-end.

Agreed, #SMS isn't a silo, although not a freely accessible protocol either; it's only available at the whim of the carrier. And Google's new Chat uses RCS, supposedly Rich Communication Services, which will be equally controlled by carriers. But my suspicion is that, unlike SMS, Google will become the only app vendor for RCS protocol messages. My 5 year comment was based on the expected lifespan of Google projects. Google Mail has been around for a while, Google Buzz and Wave not so much.

@bobjonkman Hmm, but there are plenty of alternative SMS providers like Twilio or those "free SMS" apps you can download from an app store and possibly pay a cheap subscription to. Even Google offers Google Voice. The only difference between SMS and IP chat is having to cross over a carrier at some point (a moot point with RCS, which is also over IP).

Since the Universal Profile specs are available for anyone, it's possible we can see third-party RCS apps like we do for SMS apps.

If RCS or the new #Chat is to be primarily an IP app then there are plenty of other (encrypted) apps that I would prefer, and no reason to make it dependent on the carriers' imprimateur. But it *would* be nice to have a single app that automatically picks the best available mutual protocol. I'm thinking some kind of negotiation handshake like analogue modems use.
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