You may have heard about RCS and how it’s a huge upgrade over SMS, the old standard for text messaging. But how do you know if you can actually use RCS? We’ll show you how to easily check.
In short, RCS (Rich Communication Service) is the future of text messaging. It brings many features you’ve probably used in instant messaging apps, such as read receipts, typing indicators, and high-quality images, to standard texting.
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The rollout of RCS to phones has been long and messy. For starters, iPhones don’t support RCS at all. Instead, Apple uses its own iMessage standard. Carriers have bogged down the rollout to Android devices, but Google is working to fix that.
So, in order to get RCS, you’ll need to use an Android device. On top of that, you must have a messaging app that supports RCS. Google’s Messages app supports RCS and is available for all Android devices. However, the pre-installed messaging app from your carrier or phone maker may also support RCS.
Since everyone can install Google’s Messages app, we’ll be using that for this guide. Open the app on your Android device. If it isn’t already, give Messages permission to be your phone’s default messaging app. A pop-up message will appear asking to make the change if a different app is set as the default option.
Next, tap the three-dot menu icon found in the top-right corner.
Then select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
If you see a section titled “Chat Features” at the top of the Settings menu, you have RCS. “Chat” is the term Google uses for the RCS features.
In the “Chat Features” settings, you can enable or disable several of the RCS features or turn them off entirely.
That’s all there is to it. If your device doesn’t have RCS support yet, you’ll likely see a pop-up message in the Messages app where you can enable it.