[Update: Global rollout completed] Google Messages RCS support is rolling out for Android devices in India

This story is being continuously updated…. New updates are being added at the bottom…..

Original story (from May 29) follows:

Text messages or simply SMS as popularly known across the globe are, to say the least, outdated. Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and other instant messaging apps, text messages lack rich features such as read receipts, group messaging, and so on.

In order to send your pal an SMS, your phone relies on a cellular connection. Essentially, this means those in areas without a signal are doomed, but luckily, not many such places exist in the 21st century.

While you’d think these limitations are enough to obsolete the use of text messaging, it’s actually not the case. Matter of fact, billions of text messages are still being sent every day across the globe but it looks like things are about to change in select markets.

Google has been pushing for the switch from traditional text messaging to what is called Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol or simply Chat services.

This is a revised take on SMS that taps into features that have traditionally been reserved for instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and even Apple’s iMessage.

Using Chat, Android smartphone users can enjoy group chats, send and receive high-res images, audio and video messages. RCS also includes things like read receipts and typing indicator, just like other rich messaging apps.

But the best part is that chances are RCS messaging may already be available on your current smartphone. According to reports coming from India, it seems Google Messages RCS support is live in the country.

Google messages chat feature is now arrived in India on my oneplus 6. I just downloaded and it popped up
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Google message #RCS available in india!
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Google RCS messages rely on data just like other IMs. The messages are also end-to-end encrypted for privacy and security purposes. However, you must first update your Messages app to the latest version available before you can enjoy Chat services.

Note that the person on the other end also needs to have RCS enabled for the feature to work seamlessly, otherwise, it falls back to SMS.

Update 1 (September 16)

OnePlus Nord devices in India are now getting Google Messages RCS support. The support is currently limited to devices on Airtel network.

OnePlusNord_RCS_India

Update 1 (November 20)

Google has finally rolled out RCS messaging for Android users via its Messages app around the world, barring China and Russia. This goes around the carrier rollout which has been painfully slow and often does not work as expected.

Further, one-on-one messages will be encrypted from end-to-end and thus neither Google nor other third-parties will be able to read content in personal conversations as per a new report.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.