At its core, the service decentralizes text and multimedia messages, opening up the SMS platform to tablets and PCs. This means that conversations begun on a smartphone can be continued through the web browser on a PC, or through a client on a tablet. For any archivists out there, conversations can even be saved to SD cards, and a Content Finder feature can be used to “quickly find photos, web links and contact information in your messages.”
Superficially, this is a face lift. Looking ahead, this represents what could be the first step toward more cloud-based messaging services. The next step in the chain would be something like the capacity to send voice or video messages from any device to any device, using someone’s cellphone number as their identifier.
This would address competition from other messaging services that have begun to take more and more traffic from traditional SMS, like email or platform-specific services like Apple’s iMessage or BlackBerry Messenger.