RCS is the upgraded version of SMS that’s available on many Android devices today. However, it’s still not universal, and that can cause some issues. If you’re switching phones, you may want to turn off RCS first.
Like many things that have to do with Android, the RCS situation is a little messy. First, to take advantage of RCS features, you have to use a first-party app. There are tons of great third-party text messaging apps in the Play Store, but only official apps from Google, your carrier, and phone maker support RCS.
The last messy bit doesn’t have anything to do with Android, but it does prevent RCS from being a truly universal standard. iPhones don’t support RCS at all. They use their own standard called iMessage.
Speaking of iMessage, you may have heard of iPhone users having problems receiving text messages after switching to Android devices. What happens is that messages keep being sent to the old iMessage account instead of going to the new phone. A similar thing can happen with RCS.
If you are using RCS, and you switch to a device that doesn’t support it (such as an iPhone), you might not receive text messages on your new phone. Thankfully, Google says that this will only happen for up to eight days, but that’s still a long time. There are a couple of ways that you can prevent this from happening.
If you see “Chat Features,” that means that your device supports RCS. Open the “Chat Features” menu and check to see if it’s enabled.
Simply turn the toggle off to disable RCS. You can now switch to the new device without any worries. If you’ve already switched devices, Google has a web tool that can deregister your number. It’s an easy process that we outlined in a separate guide.
Of course, if you know that your new phone supports RCS and you plan on using the Messages app, there’s no need to bother with any of this. But keep the RCS feature in mind if you ever plan to switch from Android to iPhone, or any device you’re not sure about.
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