Freaky phone chat

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Google won’t build the i Message clone that Android fans have clamored for, but it seems to have cajoled the carriers into doing it for them.

In order to have some kind of victory in messaging, Google first had to admit defeat. Instead, think of it more like a new set of features inside the app already installed on most Android phones.

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When people begin using Chat, they’ll get many features that are standard in any other texting app, including read receipts, typing indicators, full-resolution images and video, and group texts.

Sabharwal has to find a way to make the default texting experience on Android not just good, but part of a dominant global network that can actually compete with the likes of Whats App, Facebook Messenger, and i Message.

And he needs to do it without alienating any of the hundreds of powerful companies that have a stake in the smartphone market.

Instead of continuing to push Allo — or creating yet another new chat app — Google is instead going to introduce new features into the default Android Messages app, like GIF search and Google Assistant.

Android Messages will be the default on many (but not all) Android phones.

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