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RCS is 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 on board, 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 UK and France which should be automatically enabled on the devices if you find it isn't instructions on enabling this have been provided below.
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services it is seen as the next generation of SMS messaging think of this as 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.
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.
This should default back to a standard SMS message no matter what device you are using.
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.