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Home / Tips and Tricks / Stop being jealous on iMessage. What you need to know about the chic SMS update for Android

Stop being jealous on iMessage. What you need to know about the chic SMS update for Android



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Apple's iMessage is the glue that users use to hold onto the iPhone.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Android Phones do a lot of things well, but when it comes to texting, this suggests iPhone Google. Apple's iMessage supports group messaging and proofreading and has the addictive blue bubble that automatically informs other iPhone users about Wi-Fi, not just your cellular data connection. The fact that Android phone manufacturers use different messaging apps by default prevents SMS messages from becoming as essential to iPhone users as iMessage.

Google wants to change all this and works with US providers to make SMS messaging on all Android phones more powerful, consistent and entertaining. However, it will take some time to get network operators to adopt a message protocol called RCS.

Learn what RCS is and what it offers you and when you may be able to use it on your Android phone.

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What does RCS mean?

RCS is a kind of message protocol that stands for Rich Communication Services. When it is widely available, it replaces SMS, the text messaging standard used since the 1990s.

SMS messages have evolved over the years. You have exceeded the original character limit of 160 and added MMS (Multimedia Messaging) to send pictures and videos. SMS, however, begins to show his age and limitations. RCS would make SMS on Android as flexible and powerful as SMS platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat.

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Group messaging is much better with RCS messaging.


Google

How does RCS improve the SMS feature?

The biggest change is that RCS messages allow you to share high-resolution photos, videos, GIFs, and text over Wi-Fi and your phone's data connection. You can see if contacts are available, when they type for you, and when they read a message. Improvements are visible in group discussions.

Basically it is iMessage, but for Android.

Google has a full website that explains the benefits of RCS messages when you need more detailed information.

What other features will RCS have?

As RCS messages grow in importance, you can chat with companies to place and track orders, make payments, and get help on a product. Business chat is something that Apple's iMessage platform currently offers, but it's a welcome addition to providing a similar feature to Android users.

How RCS-SMS works on Android phones

If you have a phone and use a mobile service that supports RCS (more about that in a minute), all you have to do is open the Google Messages app and follow the prompts when prompted if you want to use chat features.

After the chat has been activated, you can continue to use the Messaging app as usual. However, if you talk to a person whose feature is also enabled, you will get the extra features for RCS messages.

Some device manufacturers, including Samsung, have integrated Google's RCS platform into their own standard news app, and companies like LG might do so over time. Right now, it's best to use the Google News app. This gives you the added benefit of being able to send text messages from your computer, and gives you a warning when RCS messages are available to your phone and mobile service provider.

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If your wireless service provider supports RCS, the Google Messaging app has it about settings for the chat feature.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

I have Google Messages installed, but no RCS. Why?

This is where RCS gets messy. For RCS to work, your phone and mobile service provider must support it. Unfortunately, it's not so easy for Google to publish an app, install it, and then access the new features.

We've seen a number of announcements and partnerships from Google, Android device manufacturers and even vendors that RCS will finally launch. The truth is that it currently supports only a small number of phones on an even smaller list of operators.

Which operators and phones are currently working with RCS-SMS?

Currently there is one There are only a few phones and network operators that support this, but it is a great success or failure. Verizon added RCS support for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and intended to support the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, but the fun stopped there.

In 2018, Google and Samsung announced a partnership to transfer RCS messaging to more Android devices. Without support from network operators, however, this does not mean much.

Companies like Verizon, whose SMS app supports Message + RCS but does not use Google's Universal Profile, add to the confusion. If you're a Verizon customer using Message +, you can use the RCS spin-off as long as you're chatting with another Verizon user who also uses Message +.

There are some network operators that support Google's RCS Universal Profiles, and you can currently use RCS, for example: B. Sprint and Google Fi. Outside the US Google activated RCS for Britain and France in July 2019.

If you're not sure if your wireless service provider supports this, GadgetHacks offers a fantastic breakdown of carriers and their respective approaches to RCS around the world.

When will I receive RCS messages on my Android phone?

Good question. At the moment, it does not look like it will be soon. Especially now that the US mobile service providers have decided to set up their own messaging platform with support for Google's Universal Profile. The rollout is expected to take place in 2020. This means that you may get an improved messaging experience from your Android phone here in the US, but due to the implementation of the mobile service providers this may potentially lead to a break or an inconsistent experience.

We are following the story and will update this FAQ as soon as the development begins. Until then we can only wait.

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What about RCS on my iPhone?

Apple has concealed its intention to support RCS on the iPhone. However, it is far more likely that Apple will continue to use its own iMessage platform to make iPhone users feel like part of a rarified community.

How To Use RCS Now Irrespective Of Your Mobile Service Provider

Reddit users have found a way to enable RCS on any Android phone, regardless of the mobile service provider. If anything, this shows that Google can enable RCS messages for all Android users without the operator's permission. Google is unlikely to alienate its valuable business partners.

The process is a bit technical, but the instructions are straightforward. Keep in mind that if you try it, you run the risk and the program will not work at any time. That's the nature of the animal.

If you're tired of standard text messaging, check out these messaging apps that have their own iMessage-like features. On the other hand, you can jump to the iPhone anytime – it's not as hard as you think.

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Hopefully, RCS messaging will be used on a massive scale sooner rather than later.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET


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