Last month, Google announced RCS is rolling out and will become Android’s texting platform. That rollout has now completed.
So, starting 13 December in the US, all Android users should finally be able to use RSC on their mobile devices. They just need to update the Messages app and their carrier settings, according to Sanaz Ahari, a product manager for Android Messages at Google.
Hi everyone! RCS is now available to all users in US as of Monday. Make sure to update both Messages and Carrier Services.— Sanaz (@sanazahari) December 12, 2019
Google is a major supporter of RCS, a new online protocol that is meant to replace SMS, the current texting standard. It's supposed to come to 55 carriers including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, as well as a dozen hardware manufacturers, such as Google, Samsung, Lenovo, LG, and Microsoft.
RCS makes it simpler to send multimedia, like GIFs, high-resolution photos, and videos. It also lets you know if the person you’re texting is available, can send receipts to show they've received or read your message, lets you create longer messages and attach larger files, and it's better at group messaging. It also enables companies to interact with customers. So, for instance, with RCS, you check the status of an order.
The main downside is that it doesn't yet support end-to-end encryption. For more about how RCS works, check out Pocket-lint's guide here.
As for when RCS will come to other countries, Ahari said to “stay tuned".