Google’s messaging confusion has been going on for years now, and now they’re trying to simplify things… with five messaging apps? It’s just silly.
They’ve done pretty well with Duo, their video chat app, and it makes sense to kill Hangouts, bug-ridden mess that it is in the consumer version. But the text app part is still kind of a mess. I’m not sure why they don’t just take a page from Apple and turn Messaging into an iMessage-like app that sends encrypted messages between users, and defaults to SMS for non-users. I’m skeptical that RCS will ever really be a standard.
Alternately Apple could just support iMessage on more platforms… yeah, that won’t happen.
Or they could just buy Signal, which is what iMessage is, except that it doesn’t tether you to one brand of hardware.