RCS-Based Chat Experience Expands Google Messages

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Google has decided to expand its pre-launched Messages app by RCS (Rich Communication Services) to India and other global markets.

Messages app made by Google, which comes preloaded on many Android devices and is available for download through Google Play.

Initially, the experience was limited to a few carrier operators.

But the latest beta version of the Messages app brings its presence to all across the globe irrespective of which telecom network you use.

The app with RCS support counters the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram by letting users chat with their contacts and exchange images, GIFs, emoji, stickers, videos, and audio messages.

The RCS protocol integrated within the Messages app also allows users to send and receive messages over Wi-Fi or mobile data, unlike traditional SMS messages that require cellular network connectivity.

What is RCS Messaging?

Rich communication services is a protocol between both mobile operators and phones.

The overall aim of RCS is for it to eventually replace SMS and MMS messaging, the formats we’re all familiar with as they have been around for years.

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How to Enable It

To bring RCS support to the Google Messages app available on your Android device, you need to install its beta version 5.2.051.

It’s available for download directly through Google Play.

Once you’ve downloaded the beta version, you need to get the Activity Launcher on your Android device.

It’s also available through Google Play and lets you configure the RCS protocol on the Messages app manually.

You also need to set the Messages app as the default client for text messages to experience rich messaging.

Now, follow the below steps to enable RCS support on your Messages app.

Step 1: Turn off Wi-Fi. You can use mobile data on your smartphone, though.

Step 2: Open the Activity Launcher app and then tap the dropdown from the top bar and select Activities option.

Step 3: You’ll now need to find the ‘Messages’ app from the list and then scroll down until you see the Set RCS Flags option.

Step 4: Tap the ACS Url option and then select ‘http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com/.’

Step 5: After that, tap OTP Pattern to select ‘Your\sMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d{6})’ option.

Step 6: Now, hit the Apply button.

If you won’t see any changes on the screen, just go to your home screen and then remove the Messages app from your recent apps.

You can also force stop the app by going to Settings > Apps to completely stop its background process.

Now go to the Messages app from your app drawer. It will show you a pop-up to enable the RCS-backed chat features.

Also, enable them at a later stage by pressing the menu button from the top-right corner of your screen and then going to Settings > General > Chat features.

Once the chat features are enabled, you can turn on your Wi-Fi connection.

If you face any issue while the app is set up the new experience, you can disable the chat features and then enable them back to reset the connection.

The app also asks you to manually enter your mobile number if it’s not able to verify your carrier automatically.

How can I see if I have RCS support on my phone?

Firstly, you should use the Messages app and make sure it’s the default messaging app (while other apps will support it, Google’s approach means you need to use its own app).

  • Open the app and hit the menu in the top right-hand corner.
  • Select settings
  • Select Chat features
  • Chat features will tell you if you have support or not, and if it’s enabled.

Are RCS Messages Secure?

RCS messages rely on data in order to be sent between users, and so messages are sent with client-to-server encryption.

The protocol should also prevent spam messages from reaching your device, as for a company to be able to send a message via RCS, they have to go through a brand verification process.

RCS messages received from companies will have the company’s name in the sender info, rather than just a mobile phone number.

So update your messages app and enjoy new RCS-based chat experience.

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