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RCS vs WhatsApp: Thoughts from a long-time WhatsApp user

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Messaging on Android phones is very unsteady. The Android phone users usually have the default SMS/MMS app and possibly the pre-installed messaging app from the phone manufacturers. Moreover, various internet-based messaging apps are also available that help you connect with your friends or family members.

The newly launched Rich Communication Service(RCS) hacks is the messaging standard that promises a more seamless experience for Android users. But, first, let’s understand the difference between RCS messaging and WhatsApp messaging.

RCS vs WhatsApp: Comparison

WhatsApp and RCS are completely different messaging apps for Android users. WhatsApp is a Facebook-owned messaging app that works under proper internet connectivity. Users need to download this application manually and sign in to create an account. If you want to communicate with your friend or family member over WhatsApp, they must also have this app. So to avail the benefits of seamless conversation, both the members, i.e., sender and the receiver, must have a WhatsApp account. Therefore, as long as you have an account on WhatsApp and an Internet connection, WhatsApp will work.

On the other hand, RCS messaging is an advanced messaging protocol that works on an Android phone as a carrier and supports it. It eventually bakes into the existing messaging apps like Google messages. The problem related to this is that all the carriers do not support it yet, and even the apps that do not support it on every phone, like Pixel 4 on Google Fi, don’t support RCS till date.

The big difference between WhatsApp and RCS is the level of encryption. The messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, i.e., you and your WhatsApp buddy have access to the messages, whereas, in the case of RCS messages, they are encrypted in transit but are not end-to-end encrypted. This means that Google or the carrier can read your messages, i.e., no privacy is maintained.

Moreover, WhatsApp even provides additional security in the form of fingerprint lock, whereas RCS does not support this system. Finally, WhatsApp even offers a new group chat privacy setting which is just amazing! 

RCS messaging even has some positive points, though. RCS features are added to the existing applications like SMS/MMS, so the application can operate without any internet connectivity, whereas WhatsApp works with an internet connection. So no internet connectivity implies no WhatsApp. RCS also promises to be available on every Android mobile set shortly.

RCS vs WhatsApp: Similarities

Besides having lots of difference, both apps have some similarities, which includes:

  • Large File Sharing

Both the apps support sharing of large files up to 100 MB.

  • Group Chats

Both the apps promote group chats.

  • Read Receipts and Typing Indicators

RCS and WhatsApp both let the receipts know when the message is being read and is being typed.

  • Chat Backups

For RCS, you need to rely on standard Android system backup to save and restore your messages. Whereas WhatsApp has local and Google Drive backup support that can work once you login to WhatsApp from any other device.

WhatsApp and Rcs share many similarities but are incredibly different in the way they offer messaging experiences. Around 79% of people use WhatsApp worldwide and supports message forwarding, rich text support and many other features. Due to this, bulk WhatsApp messaging has become extremely popular and is adopted by many businesses to offer an excellent customer experience. On the other hand, the RCS messaging is held back by few things. It’s a relatively new standard that is taking quite a lot of time to set. Also, RCS will work with all Android phones soon, i.e., it will not work on I-phones, which is a big downside for people. The main goal of RCS is to make messaging better for Android users. 


Original Article Published –