Last month, a trick was discovered that enabled RCS messaging in Google's Messages app for Android for anyone that wanted it. Now Google is pushing out the feature to all, no trick required.
Google says that starting today, it's starting a broad roll out of RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging in the U.S. The company expects RCS to be broadly available in the U.S. by the end of the year.
If you've already got Google's Messages app on your Android device, you'll get a prompt to enable RCS chat features in the coming weeks. Folks that don't already have the Messages app installed on their Android phone can get it from the Play Store.
RCS messaging has several benefits over traditional SMS text messages. These include sending and receiving higher-quality photos and videos, typing indicators, read receipts, and support for chatting over Wi-Fi and mobile data. Better group chat is included in RCS, too, giving you the ability to name groups as well as add and remove people from your groups.
Google began pushing RCS support to Android users in the U.K., France, and Mexico earlier this year, and it's great to see the company doing the same thing in the U.S. now. RCS offers a much better messaging experience compared to traditional SMS, but to date, it hasn't gotten much support from U.S. carriers. Now Google is taking things into its own hands, pushing RCS to all Android users in the U.S. just a couple of weeks after the four major U.S. carriers announced that they'll be launching their own RCS-based messaging service in 2020.