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The Android operating system has many amazing features, but when it comes to texting there is one thing that Android has always lacked, and that’s a true messaging competitor to Apple’s iMessage. With the first-ever text messaging being sent December 3, 1992, by a software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, messaging being 27 years old is in need of an upgrade and that upgrade is going to be RCS. RCS short for Rich Communication Services is a protocol between both mobile operators and phones. The overall aim of RCS is for it to eventually replace SMS and MMS messaging, the formats we’re all familiar with as they have been around since what seems to be forever. Google is getting the ball rolling by partnering with phone carriers and OEMs to offer a native messaging client. Messages support the GSMA’s Universal Profile for interoperability across operator networks and devices. Google has there messaging app in the Google Play store which will make it easily updatable and give people easier access across the Android ecosystem 

Changes in RCS vs SMS

RCS will be able to carry more information meaning it will let you share high-resolution photos, carry out video calls with one another from directly within the messaging app, rather than having to rely on third-party software, GIFs over Wi-Fi, also over your phone’s data connection. You’ll be able to see when contacts read your message, when they are available, and see when they are typing. Group conversations will also see improvements with features such as being able to chat with businesses to make payments, place and track orders and get help with a product. These features have been on Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger for quite some time.

Does RCS support my phone?

If you don’t have a phone with RCS support integrated into your messenger app like Samsung phones you will need to download Google’s Messages app in the app store and make sure it’s the default messaging app.

While in the app follow these instructions

  • Open the app and hit the menu in the top right-hand corner.
  • Select settings
  • Select Chat features
  • Chat features will tell you if you have support or not, and if it’s enabled 

You will have to opt into RCS when it becomes available through Google or your provider, you will be notified to opt-in and You’ll have to agree to Google’s terms and conditions. Google has come to terms with the UK and France’s carriers to roll out RCS in each country. As long as you are using a Pixel device in those countries, you will be able to use RCS messaging via the Android messaging app.

Carriers That Support RCS

US wireless carriers

  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile
  • Sprint
  • Us Cellular
  • Google Fi

Prepaid US Wireless carriers

  • Boost Mobile
  • EcoMobile
  • Freedom Mobile
  • NTT DoCoMo
  • Straight Talk
  • Telcel América
  • Tiercel Wireless
  • Ting
  • Total Wireless
  • Virgin Mobile

US wireless carriers coming soon

  • AT&T
  • Google Voice

Wireless carriers in other regions

 

  • América Móvil – Latin America
  • Claro – Argentia, Brazil, Colmbia, Ecuador, Peru
  • Deutsche Telekom – Germany
  • Fido Solutions – Canada
  • Freedom Mobile – Canada
  • Globe Telecom – Philippines
  • KDDI – Japan
  • Magyar Telekom – Hungary
  • NTT Docomo – Japan
  • Oi – Latin America
  • Orange – France, Romania
  • Rogers Wireless – Canada
  • SFR – France
  • SoftBank Corp. – Japan
  • Telcel – Mexico
  • Telefónica – Spain
  • Telia – Sweden
  • Telstra – Australia
  • Vodacom – South Africa
  • Vodafone – Albania, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom

 

 

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