What is Google RCS

Google Messages: RCS should finally fix it

Google's messenger history is long and rather unfortunate. Now it should address Google Messages. Attempts to implement RCS (Rich Communication Services) as the successor to SMS have been going on for a while. The open standard is now available to most Android users worldwide.

RCS is cross-platform and brings typical chat functions in or instead of the SMS - such as the "read" status, reactions and group chats. You can use it to send text and voice messages, send pictures, videos and other files and make video calls. As an advantage, Google also points out in a blog post that the quality of the images and videos is better and that you can now use WiFi data for chatting thanks to RCS. Just like with other messengers.

No E2EE and limited availability

The communication is not yet encrypted end-to-end (E2EE). Google is working first for communication between two people. The beta phase should start this month and extend into the coming year. The change then happens automatically.

Android users simply have to open the Messages app and they will be informed that RCS is now available. Otherwise activation in the settings is necessary. It is also checked whether the end device and the mobile phone provider are compatible at all. Google had tried to get providers on board for the standard, but that obviously only worked to a limited extent. Now the distribution is on your own.

Messages are only sent via RCS if both participants have activated them. If this is not the case, Google switches to SMS, similar to Apple's iMessage. The advantages of the WLAN variant are of course lost again.

Google's Messenger history (in excerpts)

Google had once promoted the development of RCS messaging under the name "Chat", when "Google Messages" was still called "Android Messages". "Chat" was supposed to replace "Allo", a chat app that was not well received by users and was now also paid for. "Chat" has now been integrated into Gmail as a free version, replacing "Hangout". "Duo" is the video communication service for private use, while "Meet" with its wider range of functions is intended for business customers.

(emw)

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