While most of us use messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook and Apple's Messages, the trusty SMS text is still a thing, and is in most cases still a viable and easy form of communication. As we all know, SMS texts come with their own set of limitations we aren't generally hindered by with its technologically advanced counterparts. Things like sharing larger media files, long send times and the lack of other amenities all plague the aging comms tech, but it looks like T-Mobile is ready to launch a new way to text that keeps much of ease and simplicity of SMS.
T-Mobile's new Rich Communications Services (RCS) brings much of what we have come to love about WhatsApp and Messages, but allows anyone to use it without the need to download or install any additional software. Well, anyone on T-Mobile that is, and most devices will have to wait for the feature to become available via a one time software upgrade. It sounds as though the standard will attempt to penetrate other networks, but as of now T-Mobile is the only carrier on-board. Aside from that, it will work on any platform and any device, according to the company. Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6 plus about "a dozen" other devices will have the update made available shortly. As of today, the new Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime is the only device that currently supports it.
Nonetheless, users will get 10MB video and image attachments, message received notifications, group chats and more, once the update is fully rolled out. RCS requires a Wi-Fi or LTE connection, as you're likely imagining, and the system will automatically drop back to basic texts if it needs to. The service is free, and T-Mobile users should start to see it appear "soon".