Messages Improved Apps Launch to Enable Free and Secure “Internet of Messaging”
Mei App Inc announced the launch of its Messages Improved network of apps with the support of telecommunication operator partners around the world. The network aims to be the first advanced messaging network that allows every person with an Android smartphone to securely message with friends and family for free, even when they run out of data or can’t connect to Wi-Fi.
The initial set of operator partners spans over 10 different countries & territories, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Poland, Ukraine and Venezuela. For each partner in its pilot program, the company will launch an app in 2020 that can serve as the default texting app on the operators’ Android subscribers’ phones.
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Each Messages Improved app can interoperate with each other and the default texting apps on every smartphone through common messaging protocols: SMS, MMS and RCS. RCS or Rich Communication Services, is the upgrade to SMS/MMS that allows modern messaging features like high-quality pictures/videos and large group sizes, transmitted over the internet. RCS allows all communication technology to adopt a uniform implementation so that each could communicate with another no matter what app or platform the user is on, enabling an “internet of messaging” to develop.
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Popular messaging apps around the world like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Telegram are not interoperable, meaning users of one cannot message with users of another. This creates isolated networks where users risk losing connection with their social network because of technical failures, account bans, app bans or user attrition.
On iPhones, the default SMS/MMS app is iMessage, which has its own non-RCS-compatible encrypted messaging system, i.e. “blue bubbles”. On Android, users can choose their app but typically use the one preinstalled by manufacturers or Google, who have started enabling RCS. However, implementations so far have not been end-to-end encrypted and don’t always involve local operators whose networks operate SMS and MMS messages, contributing to the fragmented messaging market.
The Messages Improved apps are the first default texting apps with end-to-end encrypted RCS publicly available in the Google Play Store. Founder Es Lee commented, “We’re proud to work with our first set of local telephone operators, Google’s Play Store, and RCS to build what may become a secure and free ‘internet of messaging’ where users can freely chat with any person or bot on any app or platform. We welcome more partners to work towards global interoperability.”
In addition, mobile subscribers in the pilot territories may soon be able to message without using their data allowance. Lee added, “We’re working with each local partner to allow messaging even if the subscriber runs out of data and can’t connect to Wi-Fi — so that each smartphone user will never be completely disconnected from the world. In times of emergency, having a messaging app with a guaranteed source of connectivity is invaluable.”
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