News broke recently of RCS messaging rolling out to Android users, but the availability isn’t open to everyone just yet. A full roll-out is planned for 2020. While you’re waiting to get access to this new tech offering, here’s some important information explaining what RCS is and how you’ll be able to use it.
RCS Messaging (Rich Communication Services) is a more enhanced version of standard short message service (SMS). SMS has limited features within its messaging capabilities. A normal SMS text will only allow for 160 characters, whereas RCS allows for up to 8,000 characters.
RCS will support cross-device synchronization, group texts, read receipts, notification when the other person is typing, audio message support, web-based chats, WiFi and data messaging capabilities, plus message encryption.
Who Can Benefit from RCS
Google has already made RCS Messaging fully available and supported with their mobile carrier Google Fi with full support at the ready. Select models using Google Fi will have it by default, while others will have to download it. Other carriers will host RCS support on select devices. Carriers outside of the big ones may also have it with many folks eager to adapt and support RCS.
If you’re an Android user, you can download the RC Messaging app by Google in the Google Play store. Once installed, go to the dot hamburger menu in the top right corner. You’ll be able to see if the features are available and turn them on if your carrier allows for RCS.
*Author note: I attempted to check and install the new messaging on my own phone (a Samsung Galaxy S8+) and, although I was able to install the messenger, RCS was not available through my carrier (Tmobile in Southern California) as of this time.
In the event you’re unable to download and install RCS Messaging via Google Play, there’s still hope, albeit, it’s a bit more complicated. Potential users may be able to find out (the long way) if their carrier offers download capability. Going this route might take a few minutes longer to set up. Once up and running, a whole new world of communication awaits you.
What Is RCS Messaging? — Sources
Lifehacker: What’s RCS Messaging and Why Should You Care
Google Play App Store: Messaging
Google Play App Store: Activity Launcher
Google Play App Store: Android Info
Lifehacker: How to Check If You Have Access to RCS Messaging
The Verge: Cross Carrier Messaging