Samsung's new acquisition will make your texts more interesting

The company buys a provider of Rich Communications Services, which add more features to SMS text messaging.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken

The texts you send from your Galaxy phone may soon look a lot like Apple's iMessages.

Samsung said Tuesday it has acquired a Canada-based Rich Communications Services business from NewNet Communication Technologies. Called NewNet Canada, it will continue to operate independently as a unit of Samsung Electronics Canada.

RCS essentially is the standard for the next generation of SMS text messaging. It makes regular text messages behave a lot like chat messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp. But this new standard brings similar functionality to the basic SMS service already integrated into your phone. Samsung said users will be able to communicate on any network, with an RCS-enabled device or an SMS-only device.

It adds new features to simple text messaging, such as seeing when someone is typing back a response to your message and getting notifications when someone has seen a message. It also includes improved functions on group texts, which allow people to be added and deleted from group chats. And people can easily share and transfer large files like high-resolution photos.

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for more information. The company said in a press release that "this acquisition is a critical milestone not just for Samsung but also for the communications industry."

CNET's Maggie Reardon contributed to this report.