Today, Google is announcing RCS is rolling out to all Android users in the US. RCS (Rich Communication Services) is a successor to the long outdated SMS and MMS protocols. Its integration with carriers has dragged on for years, and the major US carriers announced yet another messaging app without Google, who had been making efforts to standardize RCS across Android devices and carriers around the world.
Google first committed to developing the new platform back in early-2016. It’s finally now that Google is rolling out RCS with interoperability between carriers in the US through the Android Messages app. RCS allows for larger file transfers, read receipts, and typing notifications.
To get started, download the Android Messages app and set it to the default SMS app. If the RCS feature is available, you’ll see a notification that says “Messages just got better”. The new Chat Features should become available after you agree to the terms.
Once enabled, you should head to the app’s Settings and then check your RCS status by tapping “Chat features”. If you message someone with RCS, the input line will show “Chat message” where it’d usually say “Text Message”.
If you don’t see the notification right away, you may have to wait until RCS arrives to your device, otherwise, you can give the workaround method a try. It’s currently ‘rolling out’ and Google says it will reach everyone in the US by the end of 2019.