Great news, Google has added Rich Communication Services (RCS) to the Android Messages app. This new service gives you advanced messaging features that can be found on popular apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
- It is available on all devices running Android 4.4 or higher.
- Wi-Fi compatible.
- Text and picture messaging charges may apply when Android Messages tells you that you’re sending either message type.
- All text and picture messaging sent through the app will use your monthly data allotment.
- Phones that already have a previous version of Android Messages installed will show at the bottom of the screen with a banner advising you that Enhanced Features are available. Enhanced features will only work between phones that have the Enhanced Features enabled.
- What are the benefits of Rich Communication Services (RCS)?
- Why can’t I see RCS features when communicating with friends who have an iPhone?
- Can I still send text and picture messages?
- Are RCS features available on my phone?
- Why is my phone now asking if I want to optimize my battery?
- How much data might I need when using RCS features?
Installing the app for the first time or updating the app will display a banner at the bottom of the screen letting you now that Enhanced features are available. In May 2017, phones with Android Messages preloaded will have Enhanced features enabled.
RCS is a more dynamic way of communicating via text messaging. It allows for enhanced features such as typing indicators, delivery receipts, read receipts and group messaging. It also allows those texting to easily share photos, files and locations.
Currently, RCS features only work on messages sent to and from the Android Messages app.
Yes, you can still send regular text and picture messages if these features are included in your plan. If your current plan does not include these features pay-per-use or data charges may apply.
Unlike other apps like WhatsApp, Android Messages will automatically send your message via text if you do not have data access. Keep in mind, sending picture messages requires data connectivity.
RCS features are available on all devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher. To get the most from this dynamic messaging experience make sure you have the latest version of Android Messages.
The Enhanced features being introduced are supported through the Google network. So, Android Messages will periodically sync with the network for a quicker response when the features are in use. However, you should not notice an increase in battery usage.
Your data consumption will depend on your usage. Always keep in mind that some online activities require more data than others. You can visit our Data Calculator to estimate your data usage.
Tip: You can turn off these Enhanced Features in your phone settings if you are worried about using up your monthly data allotment.