Google wants to evolve the e-mail and impose the successor of SMS, the RCS, after failing to offer its messaging solution. At the time of Slack, Whatsapp or iMessage, we could say that it's an old idea that is not worth it anymore. Yet as old as they are, one needs standardized protocols at the time of the whole owner.
The mail and the SMS, these dinosaurs
It is often forgotten, but the communication protocols that seemed revolutionary in the 1990s were much older. The first email on the ARPANET network was sent in 1971, when microcomputers did not even exist yet. The first SMS, next, is a baby: it was sent in 1989.
Despite their shortcomings, email and SMS have an undeniable advantage over the multitude of services that should have killed them for years: they are universal. Whatever my phone, whatever the device connected to the Internet I use, I can send an SMS and / or an email to someone who will receive it. It sounds insane. No need to subscribe to a social network or a cool messaging service that changes lousy icon, no need to use a certain brand of smartphones to more than 1,000 euros, no need to sell a part of his private life to advertising agencies. Email and SMS, yes, dare to say it is the "turfu".
Google would like to amplify the mail
At least we would like it to be, precisely because we need their evolution, so as not to switch completely into a world where only these silos owners would survive. Fortunately, we have Google, a company that excels in many areas except in one: impose proprietary messaging solutions. And that's a good thing, because suddenly, a major player is still interested in improving email and SMS. Finally, like many things at Google, the reality is a little more complex than it seems.
The "AMP for email" technology, introduced in February 2018, seems to be ready to appear in the latest version of Gmail. The idea, unveiled at AMP Conf 2018, is to make emails more interactive and dynamic. Rather than being these static snapshots whose expiry date increases as you procrastinate the processing of your inbox, "amplified" emails are updated according to the latest information (promotions, updating your flight , new suggestions …) and allow you to interact directly with the content.
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Concrete examples were presented with Doodle, Pinterest or Booking.com: answering a survey, finalizing a registration or booking a flight would be easier, without leaving the application or the Gmail site. The idea, in itself, is interesting. We constantly fight against the accumulation of emails and the difficulty of their treatment. Google has tried a solution to this problem with Inbox, which the Mountain View company has unfortunately sacrificed.
Dynamic mails are another approach: making e-mails more useful as such and not as a simple passage to go to a web page can give them an interest that encourages them to treat their box more regularly. Now, in "AMP for email", there is a word that annoys: AMP.
The AMP pages also have a good intention: to provide mobile-optimized web content from Google's servers so that you do not have to leave the application for your web browser. Technology has attracted criticism from web advocates for a falsely open-ended approach. According to them, Google controls AMP and deprives creators of their content. Google denies these accusations by reminding that AMP is open source and that anyone can contribute to the specification.
The RCS to forget the failure of Google Allo
We can hear these criticisms, but still appreciate the efforts of Google out of step with current trends. This approach is one of the giant's strengths and after the fiasco – it can be said – of its Allo messaging solution, we can see as a positive sign that Google is refocusing on the promotion of SCR.
It's now Google's hobby: transforming its Messages app, the one that works, into a model client for the Rich Communications Services, the GSMA consortium protocol, already in work since 2008. Google, but also Samsung or Microsoft, and more 40 operators including Orange are already working on the subject. Reminder, the RCS adds many features to aging SMS: group conversations, video calls, file transfer, sharing geolocation … In short, all that modern messaging can offer, but without incompatibilities.
Google does not support RCS the flower with the rifle: its goal is again to push its own cloud architecture, Jibe, offered to operators to accelerate the deployment of technology. A not disinterested approach, therefore, but which again has the merit of relying on open protocols.