Google Brings Game-Changing Update for Messages: US Users Can Enjoy Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android

Google is rolling out a major update for messaging on its Android devices from Thursday and looks like the features are quite similar to the ones enjoyed by iPhone users on iMessage.

The new Message update on Android brings the ‘Rich Communication Services’ (as known as, RCS) technology to Android phones. The update enhances the messaging features and allows the users to send text messages (SMS) over Wi-Fi or mobile data, instead of the conventional system by mobile carriers.

The new update will also allow users to share high-quality photos and videos, receive typing notifications as well as receive delivery and read receipts.

Android users will also be able to name groups, add/remove other users from the group, and check to see the people who have not seen the last sent messages.



iPhone users have enjoyed these features for years and finally the same will be available for users who reply on Google's operating system.

However, it is still unclear how this will improve the messaging service between iPhone and Android users. Those who are not aware, text messaging between both the operating system is a major problem and the only way to communicate is via text, as the quality of both – video and photo is very poor.

Additionally, iMessage has its own standard and not the universally acclaimed RCS system. As of now, Apple has not said anything about using RCS to support iMessage so we are still unsure how the update by Google will facilitate messages between the two platforms.

For Android users, the Google Messages update will be available on the company’s own text messaging app – not on the carrier’s text messaging service that is set for default on most smartphones.

The Messaging app by Google can be installed from its Play Store. You can also set Google’s messaging app by default on your smartphone by going to Settings > Apps and notifications > Default apps > SMS app > and setting it to Google’s Messages app that has a blue icon.

Users of Google Pixel already have Google’s Messages app set as their default text-messaging app and should update like a normal app as well.



"Earlier this year, we enabled the ability for anyone in the UK, France, and Mexico to get chat features in Messages and we’ll continue to work on bringing this to everyone on Messages around the world.", announced Sanaz Ahari, Google' Product Management Director, in a blog post.

Read next: Google Tests a New Button On Its Desktop Web Version

17 comments:

  1. Can I install this on my AMD desktop system, and on my chromebook?

    I use Hangouts now for messaging, it works on kids iPhones, iPad, and Apple computers.

    Daughter uses MX Linux, our weekly video chats and photo transfers are good.

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  2. Basically can not really chat with iPhone nor Samsung nor Verizon users. Hard to find compatible chat users, Since everyone is using their proprietary chat app. Bummer.

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  3. omg yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. It works on all carriers and anyone with an android device can use it. Just install Android Messenger.

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  5. FI users have had this for years

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  6. I've seen so many of these articles about Google's RCS. None of them mention that the carrier has to support it and most of the major carriers do not as they are working on their own version. I tried to enable this on my S10e and got an error message that my carrier does not support it and I have AT&T.

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  7. I have been using telegram with my wife for years now between android and iOS. Secure and all of same features

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  8. I always get error 500 when sending text, when I asked my provider what it meant they told me that Bell Canada has no such thing as error 500?? But my message goes through as it disappeared but I have no clue where it goes..
    And still no answer for what error 500 means

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  9. iPhone users have enjoyed these features for years and finally the same will be available for users who reply on Google's operating system.

    And then you state no compatibility between the two platforms.

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  10. On my tmobile 10+ I didnt have to do anything to turn on rcs
    Rcs works flawlessly on my device I love it

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. AT&T certainly supports it. I've been using it for about a month now

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  13. It does not require the carriers support it. You just need to have Android Messages installed. Google is doing a staged rollout with plans to make it available to all US customers before the end of 2019.

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  14. Samsung wearables doesn't support it so you won't be able to receive text notifications on your "smart" watch. 😣

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  15. Ya, At&t is the only major carrier that doesn't support it lol

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  16. What's the big deal about this RCA I really don't get it, if it just a message, then would it not be the same as WhatsApp? You can send voice messages and pictures as well as attachments, so do we really need another app to send pictures of crappy food or cheesy selfie's "I don't think so" I'll sick to regular text messages, or how about this new thing call a phone call?

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