RCS now available for all Android users in the UK, Over Two Years ago Google announced plans to include RCS in 20+ OEM Devices. Samsung and Google have collaborated to bring RCS to Android Users, this was great but meant nothing if the Mobile Operators weren't onboard, until now. Instead of having separate messaging apps to contact Friends or Family, they've focused on the already existing Android Messages App.
This has currently been rolled out to the Android devices in the in the UK and France which should be automatically enabled on the devices, if you find it isn't the Instructions on enabling this have been provided below.
So what is RCS?RCS stands for Rich Communication Services it is seen as a next generation of SMS messaging think of this like an upgrade of SMS with added features like WhatsApp and iMessage currently have.
"Next Generation of SMS Messaging"
The original plan was for mobile operators to become responsible for the delivery of RCS messages but, Google felt that the operators were dragging their heels so they’ve decided to implement this themselves. Vodafone was one of the first networks to work with RCS in the UK.
"Google has taken charge"
Now that Google has taken charge mobile operators won't have to opt in as it will become part of Android Messages and Samsung messages.
Google recognises that Users are wary of Privacy, as end-to-end Encryption is not currently supported, but they've assured us that messages sent to the recipient (in transit), will only be on their Servers temporarily and then deleted once it has been delivered.
What does Android RCS include?
- User Presence (you can see when someone is typing a Message)
- 1-2-1 Chat
- Group Chat Options
- Built in Location Sharing
- Read Receipts
- WiFi Texting
- File Transfers
- Voice Notes
- Contact Sharing
- A Variety of Stickers
- High Resolution Photos
- GIF Search
- Video Calling Option which links to Google's Duo
- Sending Images and Videos without MMS
- (TBC) Snapchat like AR Functionality
Is RCS Compatible with iMessage?Apple may choose to support RCS in the Future but this will be entirely down to them. I think this will be very unlikely as Apple has no incentive, iMessage is one of the reasons to stay in the Apple Ecosystem.
What happens if Someone sends you a Message and you don't have RCS/they don't have RCS?This should default back to a standard SMS message no matter what device you are using.
Is there a Web Client available?You can visit messages.google.com you'll then need to go onto your settings and select ‘Messages for web’ this will then ask you to scan a QR code on your mobile device. You can then see and reply to your messages, just as you can with the WhatsApp Web Client. You will receive a notification on your phone to say you are using the Web Client and will have an opportunity to sign out.
How do I enable/disable RCS?
- Click on Android messages
- Go to Setting
- Chat features
- Enable/disable chat feature
Using Android Messages with RCS is showing promise after all of the other failed endeavours such as Google Allo, I have high hopes that this will be Successful whether you are using this as a Standard messaging App or for Business this will grow further in the future. RCS will be available to use from a Google Search, so Consumers can contact Businesses in a more efficient manner.