Send and Receive FREE TEXT with Google’s RCS: Here’s all you need to know.

RCS stands for Rich Communication Service. It’s a new protocol for text and multimedia messages that should be sent and received on our phones.  Not like SMS and MMS RCS uses your phone’s data connection to send and receive messages.

So, what are you getting when you switch to RCS messaging?

  • You can get rid of the 160-character limit
  • It also removes the file size limit
    • When you use MMS to send a photo that you took with your phone, it’ll take ages to send, and other people that getting that photo will get a blurry photo because MMS has file sizes. With RCS there’s no file size limit so you can send GIFs and send photos at its full quality and videos etc.
  • And it also gets instant messaging-like features.
    • You can get read and delivered receipts.
    • Seeing when someone else typing in real-time.
    • Video and audio messages.
    • Better Group Chats.
    • You can also transfer files and etc.

So, the features that we talked about earlier may be familiar to you, that because most people use an alternative messaging system like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WeChat, Telegram, etc. and all of these messaging services already have those features, that’s because they are all using your normal data connection to send content.

RCS actually started in 2007 when its first concept was formed. A year later in 2008 GSMA adopted the RCS and started to improve RCS to better standards and then they could promote RCS to OEMs carriers etc. and 10 years later in 2018 November finally finalized the protocol and standardized and called universal profile. and the problem was that there are some requirements to work RCS system, manufacturers have to upgrade their messaging app to support RCS messaging and the carriers to add the service to their servers, and much more. Because there’s a lot more work to be done to use RCS no one really cares to use RCS.

And then back in 2019 June, tech giant Google announced that they using Jibe the company that Google bought to release their own RCS system based on universal profile. and later that month google released their RCS system to UK and France to every android user who has the Google Messages app, which can be downloaded by any android user from PlayStore.

A couple of months ago Google also announced they are rolling out end-to-end encryption for RCS in Android Messages beta. and now Google RCS messaging service is also available in Samsung’s stock messaging app.

If you are using Google Messages, update to the latest version. and when you are in the app set it to the default messaging app and click the 3 dots in the top right corner then go to settings then go to general In the general menu, you will find a tab called chat features, there you can enable chat features.

Here’s Officially Google RCS supported countries,

  • France
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Google not yet announce the launch of RCS in these regions, but users in these countries have self-reported access to the service including Sri Lanka, showing an ongoing launch, Here’s the list of user-reported countries.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Ghana
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Zambia

And if you have an iPhone when you texting to another iPhone user it automatically uses iMessage to send that text by default. And iMessage has all the benefits that RCS has. And u only switch to the old SMS service when you are texting to the non-apple device.

And still, Apple still doesn’t support RCS even though they could add RCS service to their iPhones. Maybe iMessage is the main reason is why apple delaying RCS Support on its iPhones. And there are also some articles on the web that say that carriers and the GSMA are putting pressure on Apple to add the RCS service to their iPhones. So, we can hope one day Apple will support RCS service on their iPhones.

Janidu Teshan
Author: Janidu Teshan

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