Google has announced two new updates for Android device users this month. Using them, the Android users will be able to derive more from their devices.
According to the Voice of America News, the first of the new updates is the availability of Google Assistant on more Android devices. Google Assistant is similar in characteristics with Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, carrying out voice commands. Since its inception, Google Assistant has been available only on Google's Pixel or Pixel XL phones. Now, the new update will make Google Assistant available on phones having Android OS version 6.0 or Marshmallow or 7.0 or Nougat and also on Android phones from HTC, Huawei, LG, Samsung and Sony.
Google Assistant will start off in the US and UK along with Canada, Australia and Germany this week in relevant languages, while other languages will be updated through 2017. The users will need to have an eligible device which must have the Google Play Services app downloaded on it to use Google Assistant. Google said that it is also looking to bring Google Assistant to televisions and cars later this year.
According to The Verge, the other major update that Google is looking to bring is upgrading its default messaging app. The app, known as "Android Messaging", will now be named "Android Messenger". It will be able to offer services like reading receipts, sending multimedia messages and many other features generally seen in normal chat apps like WhatsApp or iMessenger. Google's top management has confirmed that the Android Messenger will support "RCS" (Rich Communication Services), which is the messaging standard for the next generation, supported by a group of carriers along with Google.
Google has also announced that wireless carriers like Sprint, Rogers, Telenor, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Globe, and Vodafone have all agreed to adopt the "Universal Profile" for RCS. This will see their rich text messages, when sent, are guaranteed to work. Though the most important carriers in the US- Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are not included in the list of the wireless carriers, the total number of consumers claimed to be using the new RCS standard will be well over a billion.
Google said that it is also creating an "Early Access Program" for businesses to send messages via RCS, which will come verified from their sender. Experts also opine that it is a far better thing than the general messaging app.