Google finishes US rollout of RCS, its replacement for SMS

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member

Android texting has been disastrously disjointed for years, forcing users to switch to WhatsApp, Facebook, and heaven-forbid, the iPhone. RCS is a universal standard with the specific goal of fixing that by using an internet connection to add the features we’re used to in messaging apps.

In Google’s words, the improved feature set includes “sending messages over Wi-Fi and mobile data, adding people to group conversations, finding out when others are typing, letting others know you’ve read their message, and sharing high-quality photos.” The biggest selling point, however, is that it doesn’t require a special app or account to work, just you and your friends’ phone numbers.

Google’s Communications Suite Lead Sanaz Ahari confirmed the completion of the US launch on Twitter but gave a non-committal “stay tuned” when asked about an international release.

To use RCS if it hasn't turned on automatically for you, make sure to update your messaging app and carrier services and turn it on in settings. If you happen to be using a messaging app that doesn’t support RCS, you can download Google’s Messages from the Play Store for free and turn on “chat features” in Settings. And note, it does require an internet connection and both users to enable it to work.

While RCS is undoubtedly a much-needed upgrade over SMS, it still has a way to go before other messaging apps lose their allure. Apple is still refusing to support it, so you get none of the new features when messaging iOS users, and there’s no end-to-end encryption. But for now one of Android’s most annoying shortcomings is dying, which is awesome.

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hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
I'm sure the majority use whatever stock messaging app is on their phone (I'm one), unencrypted, so lack of encryption isn't a deal breaker. Not for me anyway. You'd have to be a bad sob to have it where getting texts from your phone wasn't enough.

RCS can't come soon enough. The best part is it works via WiFi and data.
 
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Shadowboxer

TS Maniac
The problem is that users need to update their Android device for it to work and typically people don’t. Google are 8 years behind Apple with this and it will take something like that sort of time before it’s universally implemented across the Android device spectrum.

Also with no end to end encryption you know google will be tracking keywords to target you with advertising etc. I guess the user data from this will be yet another product based on your personal details that they can sell to corporations.

Ugh Google...
 
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PEnnn

TS Maniac
"Android texting has been disastrously disjointed for years, forcing users to switch to WhatsApp, Facebook, and heaven-forbid, the iPhone."

Yeah, some people think that admitting the IPhone is superior will rob them of their manhood.....
 

Rdmetz

TS Rookie
The problem is that users need to update their Android device for it to work and typically people don’t. Google are 8 years behind Apple with this and it will take something like that sort of time before it’s universally implemented across the Android device spectrum.

Also with no end to end encryption you know google will be tracking keywords to target you with advertising etc. I guess the user data from this will be yet another product based on your personal details that they can sell to corporations.

Ugh Google...
Both of these should auto update on most phones through the play store.
It's why Google has pushed so many things to the store instead of with system updates.
 

picka

TS Booster
The problem is that users need to update their Android device for it to work and typically people don’t. Google are 8 years behind Apple with this and it will take something like that sort of time before it’s universally implemented across the Android device spectrum.

Also with no end to end encryption you know google will be tracking keywords to target you with advertising etc. I guess the user data from this will be yet another product based on your personal details that they can sell to corporations.

Ugh Google...
For this feature in particular only the messaging app and carrier services app need to be updated so no need for a full system upgrade unlike Apple.
 

Shadowboxer

TS Maniac
For this feature in particular only the messaging app and carrier services app need to be updated so no need for a full system upgrade unlike Apple.
No, Apple requires no updates at all. Every single current iPhone out there has iMessage now. It’s been that way for a few years, I mean it was launched in 2012. Also, you have to do absolutely nothing to see messages on your iPad or Mac, it’s just a toggle on or off. It’s a very handy feature. It even works independently on my Apple Watch without any prior configuration.

Better yet, iMessage is fully encrypted so you can feel safe that your messages are private! To me I find it baffling that anyone would consider using a messaging service that isn’t encrypted! And quite cheeky for google to push it, google really are relying on users being misinformed I think in this case.

It is a shame that Apple won’t allow it to connect to Google’s services as iMessage is excellent. However I imagine they probably have privacy demands google simply can’t fulfil.
 

Markoni35

TS Maniac
It will prevent unauthorized peeking at your messages. Except for a large number of Google employees. Hopefully your neighbor from hell isn't a Google employee.