Do you prefer messaging apps that also support SMS?
Your group chats and OTP texts, living side by side
Messaging on Android is better than ever, as Google finally got its act together by focusing on RCS. Of course, in the decade it took to create a platform worthy of rivaling iMessage, many third-party clients burst onto the scene. When it comes to privacy and security, it’s hard to beat Signal, but the app found itself in hot water with fans this week after suddenly dropping SMS support. For some, this may seem like the loss of a much-loved feature. For others, you might not even notice it.
Signal’s explanation is long and thorough, explaining that the change mostly comes down to security concerns. After all, SMS messages aren’t encrypted — Signal’s raison d’être — which limits user privacy, though that’s not necessarily the service’s fault. Developers were also concerned that users might be charged for using SMS without realizing it, which is a problem on phone plans outside the United States. Understandably, many users found the missing feature immediately frustrating. After all, it’s hard to go back to two apps if you rely on Signal as your SMS client.
These days, only a handful of other dedicated messaging services also support SMS. Facebook Messenger, for example, does double duty as an SMS client, although Meta’s other two apps – WhatsApp and Instagram – don’t. You can also argue Google Messages, which prefers RCS messaging whenever it’s available. Unfortunately, RCS currently only exists between Android devices, and while that represents billions of people worldwide, it excludes anyone with an iPhone.
Keeping an app seems like a simple solution, but if you rely primarily on text messages for two-factor authentication and other automated messages, you probably won’t benefit from keeping those threads alongside group chats. Meanwhile, apps like Google Messages are required for RCS on Android; Third-party RCS services aren’t a thing on the Play Store, unlike SMS clients. In many ways, you’re better off leaving Messages as your default SMS app, if only for that reason alone.
So what do our readers think? Do you want all your messages, regardless of context, kept in one app, or do you prefer multiple services kept on your phone for different uses? Personally, thanks to RCS, I like to keep Google Messages set as my SMS client, although I do most of my messaging through services like Signal anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised to see many of our readers feel the same way.