Google is working on a replacement for its default SMS app for Android, The Verge reported.
The company has tried to introduce its own rich messaging client in Android on several occasions, including integrating Hangouts with Messages (when it was called Messenger), and launching two new apps in 2016 called Allo and Duo.
Duo is a video chat app, while Allo was a text messaging service. The Verge reported that Google is “pausing investment” in Allo.
Android’s new default messaging app will be called Chat, and it will be based on the Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services standard (RCS).
RCS is a standard developed by the GSM Association to replace SMS with a richer messaging service that works more like WhatsApp, and includes features like group messaging and multimedia support.
Chat for Android is expected to launch “within the next 6-12 months.”