Google completes rollout of RCS for Messages in the US

Google has been working with US phone carriers to lay the ground work for RCS. That groundwork is now complete, with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and fifty-three other carriers to support RCS. RCS, Rich Communication Services, is a communication protocol intended to replace MMS and SMS, which first came into use in 1992. RCS supports read receipts and better handles group messaging and multimedia. However, it does not currently support end-to-end encryption.

Google has been pushing RCS, but its current implementation of RCS is not so much a full replacement for SMS, but rather its own answer to iMessage for Android. This RCS implementation comes in the form of “chat features” for Google’s Messages app. Android users, by enabling chat features, can send and receive RCS messages to and from other Android users with the Messages app. Both the latest version of Messages and Carrier Services are required to enable chat features. Google has a guide available for those who need help troubleshooting.

Since RCS is meant to be a replacement for MMS and SMS, developers of other text messaging apps, such as Textra SMS, are hoping Google will release RCS APIs to allow for RCS implementation in third-party apps. Fortunately, there are signs that these APIs may become available with Android Q. Until third-party apps and Apple support RCS, MMS and SMS will continue as the universal, cross-platform communication protocols. Many carriers outside the US also have yet to support RCS.

Nathan Wasson

Inquiring mind, tech journalist, car enthusiast, gamer.

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tanker27
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tanker27

Still doesn’t measure up in features that iMessage has.

Tom
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Tom

So what’s your point? It still has some features that dominates over WhatsApp such as it’s already preinstalled and bigger size limit attachment up to 105MB, more than iMessage 100MB. Telegram doesn’t E2E encrypt chat by default but some user prefer it over WA due to features such as cloud multi-devixe handoff and backup.

Apple iOS on iphones still uses static icons springboard with no app luncher to this day.

dirtyvu
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dirtyvu

iMessage isn’t all that. It still doesn’t offer the ability to add users after the group message is created. Other systems offer that. Heck, I love that Microsoft Teams does that. No more do I have to recreate a new message thread because someone was forgotten.

sweatshopking
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sweatshopking

In canada we’ve had RCS since 2017 but for some reason my phone running android 9, google messaging, totally up to date, won’t do it. idky

Tom
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Tom

I heard Rogers support RCS officially in Canada but dunno about others. Anyway, you can enable it manually by passing your carrier and using Google Jibe server. There are handful of instructions on the internet how to enable this. You should be able to by installing latest Android messages and carrier services. Purge cache to force refresh. You may have to install activity Luncher to flag RCS in your messages app.

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