Google begins rollout of RCS (rich communication services) text messaging for all Android users
One thing that iPhone users have long held over the head of their Android counterparts is Android’s use of SMS for default text messaging. That difference is drawing to a close; starting today, Google is rolling out RCS chat as the default texting platform to all Android users.
RCS, or rich communication services, chat can be considered the replacement for the older SMS, or short message service, system that has been used for text messages for over two decades. Unlike SMS, RCS natively supports read receipts, messaging over the Internet, high-quality images, and more.
RCS will be made available on Android via Google’s Messages app, so users may need to hop into the Google Play Store for a quick download and switch messaging apps. Google is rolling the service out bit by bit, so it may take a while before some users receive notification that their phone supports RCS.
RCS is a far more feature-rich platform than SMS, but it still has drawbacks. Unlike other texting services like Telegram or Apple’s iMessage, RCS does not support end-to-end encryption. Additionally, because of the decentralization of RCS servers, it is more difficult to add features to the platform. Additionally, it can be difficult to add support for specific devices, which is part of the reason why Google is using its own servers and why users must use Google’s Messages app for RCS on Android.
Have you received a notification that your Android handset now supports RCS? If so, how has the experience been so far? Let us know in the comments below.