Orange France is the latest operator to offer a joyn messaging service, following recent launches in a number of other markets.

The RCS-based service, backed by the GSMA, is currently available as an app (called joyn by Orange) and will gradually be introduced as an embedded app on smartphones sold by Orange.

The operator has upgraded its existing Contact et moi app to become the new joyn app, which enables users with compatible Android smartphones or an iPhone to chat, send files and share videos or pictures during a call without needing to hang up.

This full functionality will be available from October. In the meantime, iPhone users can make two-person chats and video calls, while Android users can have multi-person chats, make video calls and share pictures on a call.

Joyn will also be available to Orange customers as an embedded app on smartphones from this summer.  Its full functionality will be accessible to subscribers with an Orange package (although not pre-paid users) who are equipped with three Android models – Sony Xperia Z, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Joyn will be introduced for most Android and Window Phone devices in 2014.

France is the latest country to experience a joyn launch.  It follows a recent launch by Deutsche Telekom in Germany, and the debut of joyn-embedded devices in Spain. Other countries where the service is available include South Korea and the US. The initiative is an attempt by operators to battle the success of competing IP-based services from ‘Over-The-Top’ players.