RCS Messaging adds features similar to those of Apple iMessage to your Android phone, with the ability to send full-resolution photos and small bubbles to let you know when someone is typing. Google takes the time to roll out, but plans to grant all users access to the feature by the end of the year.
Google has tried many different messaging services and has lagged behind Facebook Messenger and Apple's iMessage for real traction. With RCS Messaging, which is closely linked to text messaging, Google may have finally found a winner. Since RCS Messaging does not really come off the tongue, Google refers to the service in the news app as a chat.
Let's take a closer look at what you need to do to enable the new feature and some of the more nuanced aspects of RCS messaging.
Getting Started with Google Chat
First, you need an Android phone that installs the Google News app and sets it as the default SMS app. When you start messages for the first time, you are asked if you want to set it as the default app. Just follow the instructions and do not worry, you will not lose your conversation history when you switch.
It may take some time for you to gain access to RCS Messaging (it seems Google is referring to 1% of the population at the same time), but in the meantime, you can use Messages for Web to send text messages from your computer and can receive. The change is still worth it.
RCS messages work in the US, UK, France or Mexico – again, the rollout will take some time. Google is adding more users from the US and expects RCS to be enabled for all US news users by the end of the year.
Enabling Google Chat Features
There are two ways to enable chat after installing the Google News app and setting the app as the default SMS app. You can either wait in the Messaging app for a prompt that asks if you want to see when your friends are typing, or you can search for the button in the Message settings section to enable chat.
When prompted, tap Update Now Follow the instructions and enter your phone number when prompted. You can also open Messages and tap the three-dot menu button (upper-right corner of the app) and select Settings > Chat Features . If the chat features are not included in the Settings section, your account does not yet have sufficient access to RCS.
On the same settings page, you can also turn your read receipts on or off, and turn off the input panel when you enter a message and control whether chat operations fail.
If you're having trouble sending messages, you can also see the current status of your phone's connection to the chat service in the Settings app. As long as is connected, your phone number is registered with Chat and should use the service whenever you speak with a contact for whom chat is also enabled.
This is an important aspect of chat. For each caller, the feature must be enabled on the device to use the new chat features. All usual SMS functions are still available.
You can do this sooner by getting your friends to use Google Messages. You can guide them through the installation process (or send them a link to this post).
If you are impatient and want to try Chat now, you can try a workaround that some Reddit users have discovered. It's a bit technical, but it should keep you on your feet.
Using the New Chat Features in a Conversation
After you enable the chat features, the News app will still work and look the same. You should continue to use them as you have always done. The app knows when to talk to someone about a text or other contact with activated chat.
The easiest way to tell if a conversation is using old-fashioned text messages or the new chat features is to check the text box before you start typing. If "Chat message" is displayed in the box, the conversation includes tipp indicators, read receipts, and the rest of the features that RCS Messaging provides.
When using chat features, receipts are displayed and read under each sent message. You can send photos in full resolution and share files with other chat users. You do not have to do anything special to send a high-resolution picture. Just tap the photo icon in the app and select a photo or video. The picture shows a charging circuit that is being uploaded and sent. Otherwise, the process looks the same and works the same as sending a text message.
Because Chat works on mobile data or Wi-Fi, you can put your phone in airplane mode and continue to send and receive messages with other chat users.
change phones? Make sure you turn off chat.
Yes, and indeed you should do so before removing the SIM card from your phone. If you forget to disable the chat features before switching your SIM card to a new phone, the chat features can be used for up to 8 days. This means that you may not receive messages sent to your number by someone in the chat.
Note: Your messages are not encrypted.
Google is not currently encrypting your conversations with other chat users. The conversations are sent securely from your phone to the Google server and then to the recipient's phone. Then the messages are deleted from the Google server, but these messages are not encrypted throughout.
You can use apps like WhatsApp and Signal or Apple's iMessage if you prefer end-to-end encryption.
If you have more questions about RCS Messaging, we have answers. We also have a summary of the best messaging apps for Android users, or if you've been thinking about jumping to the iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon) you'll be surprised how easy it is.